The good folks at Ricochet just a few days ago published a must-read piece on Michael LaCour, a UCLA graduate student who seems to have faked the data that was the basis for an article published in the journal Science, offering quantitative proof that “LGBT door-to-door canvassing had a significant effect in shifting voters toward pro-gay-marriage views.”
One problem of many: a firm that LaCour had supposedly hired to conduct the door-to-door survey denied ever doing so.
Writer Tim Groseclose goes into significant detail to prove his point, including examining other papers published by LaCour, but his conclusion is simple enough:
… I am certain that LaCour faked the results of the original paper—the one published in Science. I predict that UCLA will refuse to award him a PhD, and I predict that Princeton will retract the assistant professorship that it offered him. I predict that UCLA or Princeton or both will conduct an investigation. I suspect that they will find that LaCour faked results in a few papers, not just one.
Well, look who’s back in the news today.
New York magazine‘s Jesse Singal reports that LaCour’s curriculum vitae lists him as winner of the Emerging Instructor Award, UCLA Office of Instructional Development — an award that the school says doesn’t exist.
Emailing LaCour for comment, Singal says that “a browser extension I installed to notify me when his website changed pinged me. His website’s link to his CV, which he’d taken down down recently, is now back up. This version no longer lists the Emerging Instructor Award, and the entire “Original Grants & Data” section has been cut.”