Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


Johns Hopkins Faces $1-Billion Lawsuit Over U.S. Experiments in Guatemala

Nearly 800 former research subjects and their families filed a billion-dollar lawsuit on Wednesday against the Johns Hopkins University, blaming the institution for its role in U.S.-government experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s that infected hundreds of people with sexually transmitted diseases, The Sun reported.

In an earlier lawsuit, the victims sought to hold top U.S. officials responsible, but a federal judge dismissed that case in 2012. The new lawsuit seeks to hold the university respon…


Audit Finds ‘Serious Ethical Issues’ in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Drug-Trial Suicide

The office of Minnesota’s legislative auditor on Thursday criticized the University of Minnesota’s handling of the case of a schizophrenia patient who committed suicide while participating in a drug trial at the university, saying the case involved “serious ethical issues and numerous conflicts of interest,” the Pioneer Press reported.

The criticisms in the auditor’s report build on those in an external review of the institution’s research practices that was made public last month. A report on t…


Journal Hits U. of Pennsylvania Scientists With Retraction, 2-Year Ban

Two University of Pennsylvania researchers have been banned from publishing in The Journal of Neuroscience for two years after errors were discovered in an article the pair wrote for the publication nearly four years ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

John Q. Trojanowski and Virginia M.-Y. Lee, who are a married couple, admitted that images of mouse brain cells in their article had been accidentally and unintentionally duplicated. A university review committee found the errors had been unin…


3 Higher-Education Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Raise Research Funding

Three higher-education leaders are urging federal lawmakers to repeal sequestration and increase research funding in the budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

In a letter on Friday, the presidents of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, and the American Council on Education wrote that continued limits on federal investment in scientific research and higher education would threaten the position of the United States as the world’s top economic…


Review Finds Flaws in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Vulnerable Human Subjects

An external review of the University of Minnesota’s research practices has found flaws in its handling of human subjects, particularly patients who are at risk of impaired decision making or are otherwise vulnerable, the Pioneer Press reports.

The release on Friday of a report describing the review’s findings followed years of controversy over the death of Dan Markingson, a schizophrenia patient who was participating in a drug trial at the university. Mr. Markingson committed suicide in 2004 at …


Congressman Wants to Know Who Pays for Climate Skeptics’ Research

A Democratic member of Congress is digging into the funding of a handful of researchers who have questioned the prevailing view on the causes of climate change, The Washington Post reports.

Arizona’s Raul M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources, wrote letters to seven university presidents asking for information about the funding sources for researchers at their institutions who have publicly questioned whether man-made pollution is to blame…


Universities Urge Lawmakers Not to Make Patent Defense Too Costly

More than 100 universities are urging federal lawmakers not to pass legislation that would make it too costly for them to defend their patents. One hundred and forty-four universities wrote to leaders of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to air their concerns about pending legislation that would go “well beyond what is needed to address the bad actions of a small number of patent holders.”

At issue, the universities wrote, are two aspects of the possible legislation: mandatory fee…


Justice Dept. Seeks New Research on Campus Sexual Assault

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking for new research on how colleges deal with allegations of sexual assault. Acting on recommendations from a White House task force, the department’s National Institute of Justice and its Office on Violence Against Women are seeking research “related to the investigation and adjudication of sexual assaults on college and university campuses.”

The federal government has for years handed out grants to fund colleges’ efforts to stop sexual assault. Application…


Boston College’s Belfast Project Lands in Court—Again

[Updated (2/9/2015, 4:45 p.m.) with comment from Ed Moloney, former director of the project.]

A Boston College oral-history project on Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict has again found itself in court. On Monday a British judge ruled that the Police Services of Northern Ireland has the right to retrieve interviews given to Boston College by Winston Rea, a former loyalist paramilitary member and a participant in its Belfast Project. Mr. Rea had tried to block the handover of his interview…


2-Year College’s President Is Accused of Plagiarism

The president of a two-year college in Minnesota has been accused of plagiarizing her dissertation amid faculty criticism of her decision making, the Pioneer Press reported.

A post published on Wednesday on a blog known as Save South Central College purports to show evidence of plagiarism by an unnamed campus leader in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The newspaper said the passages matched the dissertation of Annette Parker, president of South Central College, a two-year in…