The other shoe has dropped for Harvard researcher Marc Hauser with the announcement that he has been found guilty of scientific misconduct. In a well written and interesting piece, Florida State Professor Michael Ruse puts this in context and argues that Hauser’s actions hurt all scientists. The questionable research involved studies on monkeys.
For the purposes of my quest, Harvard’s investigation calls the animal research side of moral psychology into question, but I’m not certain what the impact will be on entire effort to understand the psychology and physiology of morality. I’m still struggling to get a sense of the field of moral psychology. If animal research and Hauser’s work only played a small role, then his misconduct will mean little.
The news about Hauser is a great reminder, though, that some of the most terrifying and possibly false words that can be uttered are “studies have shown.” This is also a great reminder that morality is easier to talk about and study than to do.