The leading scientific journal Science retracted a widely reported study on the changing attitudes towards same-sex marriage yesterday. Specifically, the withdrawn research — published last December — reported that attitudes toward gay marriage could be changed via face-to-face conversations with people who were actually directly affected by the issue.
The research data fell under scrutiny earlier this month when a Stanford University research team attempting to follow up on the research discovered proof that the data appear to have been “misrepresented”. Additionally, an attorney for one of the study’s co-authors publically stated the work contained lies.
Co-author and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) grad student Michael LaCour who allegedly faked the data did not consent to the retraction despite his attorney’s statement. IN his own statement LaCour still defended the legitimacy of the research’s overall results and will comment further today.
The study in question stated that the public’s view on gay marriage could be altered by brief, person-to-person conversations with gay canvassers. Lead author Donald Green was the first to be alerted once the Stanford students noticed irregularities.
They told Green that the company supposedly employed by LaCour to complete the field work had no knowledge of the study. Green told the press that when he spoke to LaCour about this, he would not surrender the contact information on the canvassed participants and said he accidentally deleted the raw data.
LaCour’s attorney has since stated there were two “false statements” in the study, those who responded to the survey were actually paid to do so and that the study itself was funded by numerous popular non-profit organizations.
Representatives for the journal Science concluded: “In addition to these known problems, independent researchers have noted certain statistical irregularities in the responses. LaCour has not produced the original survey data from which someone else could independently confirm the validity of the reported findings.”
Gay-Marriage Study Author Admits to Lies?