Scientific misconduct has enjoyed some limelight lately. The president of Stanford, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, resigned last month after a series of investigations exposed serious problems in his research; an independent review of Tessier-Lavigne’s work found no evidence that he falsified data himself but concluded that his research failed standards “of scientific rigor and process” and that he failed to correct the record on multiple occasions.
And in June it was revealed that a scholar at Harvard Business School, Francesca Gino, was accused of having falsified research about – wait for it – honesty.
Of course, scientific misconduct does not happen only at Stanford and Harvard. Of the nearly 5,500 retractions we catalogued in 2022, and the thousands of cases we have reported on since launching our watchdog website Retraction Watch in 2010, the vast majority involve researchers at institutions without anywhere near Stanford and Harvard’s pedigrees.