Wow — this is going to leave a mark. A much-hyped study published in “Science” magazine alledging that an individual’s acceptance of gay marriage could be changed in a short, one-on-one interview on the topic has been retracted after it was discovered that one of the researchers faked the data:
From Retraction Watch:
In what can only be described as a remarkable and swift series of events, one of the authors of a much-ballyhooed Science paper claiming that short conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage is retracting it following revelations that the data were faked by his co-author.
Donald Green, of Columbia, and Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA, published the paper, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality,” in December 2014. The study received widespread media attention, including from This American Life, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Science Friday, Vox, and HuffingtonPost, as LaCour’s site notes.
And the fallout is widespread, and growing. From Poynter:
At least four news organizations have re-examined stories based on fraudulent research published in the academic journal “Science” that purported to show people could be swayed to accept same-sex marriage by talking to gay individuals.
The re-evaluations came to light after the research, conducted by scholars Michael LaCour and Donald Green, came under scrutiny by political scientists David Broockman and Joshua Kalla. They found problems with the publication, which was covered by “This American Life,” The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and others.
The scoop by Retraction Watch ended up crashing their servers for a bit, but it looks like they’re back up now:
Keep up the great work!