Falsified data scandal forces Harvard teaching hospital to retract fraudulent science papers
By Ethan Huff // Jan 29, 2024

A major data fabrication scandal is unfolding at Harvard University's teaching hospital, which is set to retract or correct dozens of papers that were found to contain falsified data propagated by at least four of Harvard's top researchers.

According to reports, six papers have already been selected for retraction following the discovery, while another 31 are slated for correction by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) in Boston, this based on statements made by Dr. Barrett Rollins, the hospital's research integrity officer, concerning the serious nature of the matter.

The four individuals named as alleged data manipulators at Harvard include the following executives at DFCI and Harvard Medical School faculty members:

  • President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, class of '72
  • Executive Vice President and COO William C. Hahn, class of '87
  • Senior Vice President for Experimental Medicine Irene M. Ghobrial
  • Harvard Medical School professor Kenneth C. Anderson

Data sleuth Sholto David is credited with outing these people and making public allegations against them in a January 2 blog post.

In a statement, Rollins wrote that David contacted DFCI with allegations of data manipulation in 57 different manuscripts. Rollins says 38 off the manuscripts are articles in which DFCI researchers "have primary responsibility for the potential data errors."

(Related: Back in December, we reported that Gay was going to be allowed to keep her job despite the emergence of plagiarism evidence – then she resigned anyway.)

AI uncovering rampant science fraud

In David's blog post, he alleges "data forgery" that includes images consisting of duplications of blots, bands and plots. He names three papers authored by Glimcher, 12 by Hahn, 10 by Ghobrial and 16 by Anderson, including five co-authored by both Anderson and Ghobrial, as among the tampered-with and fraudulent material.

"As is typical for scientific research, all of the papers referenced by David have several co-authors, though his post focused on the four DFCI researchers," reports explain.

"The papers, published between 1999 and 2017, most commonly have duplications of blots, bands and plots within images, David alleged," Harvard Crimson further reported, noting that "David said he used a combination of artificial intelligence image analysis software ImageTwin and manual detection to look for errors in the papers."

ImageTwin, by the way, relies on artificial intelligence (AI), at least in part, to detect fraud in science papers. The advent of AI is uncovering all sorts of fraud all across the publishing spectrum, which is sure to "wreck a lot of ivory tower copycats," to quote one media source that reported on the matter.

"We are living in a clown world filled with fraud and corruption from top to bottom," wrote one incensed commenter about these latest revelations out of Harvard.

"It used to be that if you were a scientist and you got caught fabricating data, you'd just pack your bags and disappear because you were now completely blacklisted from the entire field," wrote another. "I knew a physicist who was caught fabricating data and the very next day his office was cleaned out and nobody knows where he disappeared to. He didn't even wait to get fired."

Numerous others pointed out that Harvard used to have a good name, but not anymore amid this and many other scandals that have emerged in recent years surrounding the institution's research quality, as well as its hiring and admissions practices.

"Billionaire Zionist Penny Pritzker gave Harvard $100 million and they made her the boss," another commenter alleged about how Harvard came to find itself in this dire position. "She in turn hired the low-IQ, affirmative action diversity hire and serial plagiarist Claudine Gay as president."

The latest news about fraudulent science can be found at ScienceFraud.news.

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