This blog doesn’t usually keep track of news, but I did want to note that Psychology Professor Marc Hauser has resigned from Harvard. Hauser is the morality researcher who has been accused of scientific misconduct, and I covered the investigation in earlier posts. The New York Times discusses some of the pros and cons of Harvard’s investigation into Hauser and notes that the university still hasn’t released its results. AAAS Science Insider gives a good brief overview of Hauser’s importance and the investigation and links to Hauser’s resignation letter.
I can’t judge whether or not Hauser really is a morality researcher who forgot to apply ethics to his own work, or whether or not Harvard did right by him, although some of Harvard’s actions do appear, on the surface, to be unfair. But I can judge his resignation letter. As someone who has worked in communications and ghostwritten these kinds of statements for others, all I can say is that the letter reads as if it were written by someone who has: (a) been told by lawyers to keep quiet about the real issue, or (b) did something wrong and knows it and is resigning because he has to, or (c) reached a financial settlement with his employer, a settlement that requires him to remain silent.