The lead author of a now-retracted study of voter persuasion and gay marriage published by Science has released a lengthy response to some of the allegations that led to the retraction.
In the 23-page document, political science graduate student Michael LaCour of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) attacks the methods and motives of researchers who raised questions about his research, but confirms that he lied about some funding sources and the incentives used to attract participants. And he admits that he destroyed the data used to produce the study, claiming that action was required by a UCLA Institutional Review Board (IRB) in order to protect the privacy of participants.
LaCour’s response does not, however, directly answer a number of other questions surrounding the study – and it raises new issues. LaCour does not address, for example, why Qualtrics, the company that he claimed had conducted his surveys, says it has no knowledge of the researcher or his project, and does not have the capability to conduct some of the claimed work. (After the statement’s release, LaCour told the New York Times that he did not use Qualtrics, but another unidentified company.)Continue Reading »