A leftist Harvard expert on "honesty" has apparently been falsifying data on numerous studies and I promise this isn't The Babylon Bee.
No, really. This story isn't satire. If you don't believe me, believe Bee CEO Seth Dillon:
A prominent Harvard behavioral scientist who undertook studies about honesty is under fire for allegedly fabricating papers that she worked on, according to a report.
Harvard Business School's Francesca Gino allegedly chalked up phony results tied to studies, including one focused on honest behavior, the New York Times reported.
She's been placed on leave, according to her business school web page, which the Times reported showed she was still on the job as recently as mid-May.
She has published 135 articles since 2007, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education.
Gino allegedly falsified data for at least 4 papers she co-authored. A blog called DataColada, run by three behavioral scientists (Uri Simonsohn, Leif Nelson and Joseph Simmons), detailed the evidence of fraud in a 2012 paper where Gino cited her own research.
The paper claimed that people who fill out tax forms or insurance documents are more honest if they attest to the truth of their responses at the top of the page instead of the bottom, the Times reported.
One of the experiments asked about 100 participants to complete a worksheet of 20 puzzles, and for every puzzle cracked they would get $1, the Times reported.
Participants later submitted a form saying how much money they earned from the puzzle-solving but were led to believe that they wouldn't get caught if they cheated.
The scientists alleged in the DataColada article that Gino had tampered with the data, citing further evidence in the same study where customers were asked to report the mileage of their cars to their insurance company. The three argued that the data seemed to have been created by someone instead of collected from respondents.
Apparently the evidence is strong enough to warrant a major shakedown in academia:
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School behavior scientist Maurice Schweitzer told the Times he was reviewing eight papers he worked with Gino on.
He noted others were doing the same.
The accusations lodged against Gino were leading to major "reverberations in the academic community" because Gino has "so many collaborators, so many articles, who is really a leading scholar in the field," he told the Times.
Gino has been honored as one of the top 40 Business Professors under 40 and has notched numerous awards.
Her studies have also been featured in an array of news articles and broadcasts.