CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A Harvard University psychology professor has resigned, saying he wants to pursue other opportunities more than 10 months after a faculty investigation found him “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct at the Ivy League school.
Dr. Marc Hauser said in a letter obtained Tuesday that his resignation is effective Aug. 1.
Hauser is director of Harvard’s Cognitive Evolution Laboratory, which studies the developmental foundations of the human mind. He took a yearlong leave of absence after the school’s three-year probe found him responsible for misconduct.
He said in a resignation letter dated July 7 that, while he was on leave, he began “doing some extremely interesting and rewarding work focusing on the educational needs of at-risk teenagers.”
Hauser also said that he has been offered “some exciting opportunities” in the private sector. He did not elaborate.
Hauser didn’t immediately respond to a call and an email request for comment.
“While I may return to teaching and research in the years to come, I look forward to focusing my energies in the coming years on these new and interesting challenges,” he said in the resignation letter addressed to Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smith.
Last August, Smith said a faculty committee investigating Hauser’s work found that three studies he conducted needed to be corrected or retracted. Five other studies were not published or had problems that were corrected before they were published, he said.
The experiments had problems involving data acquisition, data analysis, data retention as well as the reporting of research methodologies and results, Smith said.
Harvard does not disclose the specific penalties it imposes on anyone found responsible for scientific misconduct. Still, such sanctions include involuntary leave, additional oversight on a faculty member’s research lab, and severe restrictions, including on their ability to apply for research grants, admit graduate students and supervise undergraduate research.
Harvard announced in September that Hauser, who has been at the school for 18 years, would continue leading his laboratory under supervision.
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