Medical school researchers are the latest at Harvard to be accused of academic misconduct
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has reportedly issued retractions for 6 papers, is correcting 31 others, and is evaluating another, according to The Harvard Crimson.
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sherri A. Charleston was also recently accused of 40 instances of plagiarism in her academic work.
Researchers at Harvard University are under fire for allegedly falsifying data in various research papers, adding to the institution’s ongoing controversies.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), a “principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School” in Boston, has issued retractions for 6 papers, is correcting 31 others, and is evaluating another, according to an email from DFCI Research Integrity Officer Barrett J. Rollins to The Harvard Crimson.
The authors in question include DFCI President and CEO Dr. Laurie Glimcher, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. William Hahn, Clinical Investigator Research Program Director Dr. Irene Ghobrial, LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center Director Dr. Kenneth Anderson - all of whom serve as Harvard Medical School professors.
The allegations came to light following a blog post by Sholto David, who investigates scientific research irregularities.
In a Jan. 2 blog post titled “Dana-Fabercations at Harvard University,” David charged that the center’s “level of data forgery is pathetically amateurish and excessive” and that “far worse skeletons than plagiarism lurk in the archives.”
“In fact, it is worse, because we only see the tiny tip of the fraud iceberg – image data duplications, the last resort of a failed scientist after every other trick failed to provide the desired result,” David wrote. “Billions of dollars were burned for this cancerous trash science, but it made many academic careers, some got very rich, and entire dynasties established themselves at Dana Farber.”
Rollins confirmed that David had approached DFCI about 57 papers with irregularities, 37 of which the scientists have “taken prompt and decisive action” to correct, according to the Crimson.
Rollins nonetheless dismissed the likelihood that the scientists were intentional in their errors, noting that “the presence of image discrepancies in a paper is not evidence of an author’s intent to deceive.”
“Our experience is that errors are often unintentional and do not rise to the level of misconduct,” Rollins wrote.
The allegations are the latest in a string of plagiarism scandals that have rocked the university in recent months.
Former Harvard President Claudine Gay stepped down at the beginning of January following widespread criticism of her inability to fully condemn calls for the genocide of Jews during a congressional hearing. She has also been suspected of plagiarizing her Ph.D. dissertation.
More recently, Harvard’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sherri A. Charleston has been accused of 40 instances of plagiarism in her academic work, including an article in which she allegedly recycled interviews conducted by her husband in a 2012 study.
Campus Reform has contacted Harvard University and DFCI for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.