Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


Taiwanese Minister Steps Down Over ‘Peer Review and Citation Ring’

Taiwan’s minister of education resigned on Monday after it was revealed that his name had appeared on at least five of the 60 articles retracted by a scientific journal as part of the fallout from what the publication called a “peer review and citation ring,” The Washington Post reported. The minister, Chiang Wei-ling, has said he was listed as a co-author on the articles without his knowledge.

On July 8 the Journal of Vibration and Control announced it had retracted the articles after it discov…


Court Orders $250 in Damages for Climate Scientist in Records Lawsuit

The Virginia Supreme Court has ordered that Michael E. Mann, a former professor at the University of Virginia, be paid $250 in damages by the group that sued to obtain his records, The Daily Progress reports. The court ruled in April that the records were proprietary to the university, and therefore were exempt from requests under the state’s open-records law.

The Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a conservative advocacy group formerly known as the American Tradition Institute, sought abou…


Former President of Colby College Will Lead Humanities Endowment

William D. Adams, who stepped down last month as president of Colby College, in Maine, will be the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The U.S. Senate voted to confirm his appointment on Wednesday, and he will begin his work as chairman in the coming days.

President Obama announced the appointment in April. Mr. Adams will succeed James A. Leach, who resigned as chairman last year.


NIH to Withhold $1.4-Million From Research Team Linked to Fraud Case

The National Institutes of Health has rescinded the nearly $1.4-million remaining in federal grant funds the agency had awarded to an Iowa State University research team partly on the basis of findings that a former team member later admitted were bogus, The Des Moines Register reported.

The former team member, Dong-Pyou Han, resigned from the university last year and now faces felony criminal charges in federal court. The university has agreed to reimburse the agency $496,000, the portion of th…


Journal That Published Facebook’s Study Raises Ethics Concerns

The editor in chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the journal that recently published Facebook’s controversial research on its manipulation of users’ news feeds, is raising concerns about how Facebook collected the data.

The study was conducted by the social-media giant and co-designed by researchers at Cornell University. It involved manipulating what users saw in their news feeds to measure how the changes would affect the mood of their own posts. The study has come u…


British Regulator Investigates Controversial Facebook Study

A government regulator in Britain will investigate whether Facebook violated data-protection laws by conducting a study that manipulated the emotions of unknowing users, the Financial Times reports.

The information commissioner’s office, which has the authority to force a company to change its policies or levy fines of up to £500,000, did not elaborate on which part of the law Facebook may have broken.

The study, which was conducted in 2012 by Facebook but designed by researchers at Cornell Univ…


Former Iowa State U. Scientist Pleads Not Guilty in Research-Fraud Case

A former scientist at Iowa State University pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges that he falsified research for an AIDS vaccine to secure millions of dollars in federal funding, the Associated Press reported.

The scientist, Dong-Pyou Han, resigned from his post as an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at Iowa State last fall after admitting responsibility for fraudulent findings in the case.

Mr. Han faces four felony counts of making false statements, each of which carries a maximum …


Marijuana Researcher Says She Lost Job at U. of Arizona Over Her Advocacy

Suzanne A. Sisley, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine who is known for her research on marijuana, has accused the institution of not renewing her contract after her advocacy created unwanted attention for the institution, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

In March, Dr. Sisley received a green light from the federal government to study whether marijuana could benefit veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress. The study had previo…


Embattled Former Literacy Specialist Sues U. of North Carolina

Mary C. Willingham, a former learning specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill whose research called into question the literacy of athletes there, has sued the university, WRAL-TV reports.

Ms. Willingham, who resigned at the end of the spring semester, told the station that she had asked the UNC system’s Board of Governors to reinstate her. The university said in April that an external review had found that her claims about athletes’ literacy were unsupported. She did not o…


Top Biology Labs Run by Men Hire Fewer Female Scientists

Report: “Elite Male Faculty in the Life Sciences Employ Fewer Women”

Authors: Jason M. Sheltzer, a graduate student in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Joan C. Smith, a software engineer at Twitter

Publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Summary: Biology attracts many female graduate students and postdocs, but female faculty members in the field aren’t nearly as prevalent. The authors thought one reason might be that top scientists—who run the labs…