Duke University Fined $112.5 Million for Faked ‘Scientific’ Research


Duke University agreed to a deal to repay the federal government $112.5 million to settle claims it falsified scientific research paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.

I suppose that research had “consensus,” huh?

The university promised to redouble its efforts to insure “research integrity” and says it has already established some of its new policies.

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According to the Washington Times:

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A whistleblower said Duke falsified research on nearly $200 million worth of grants, and he will collect nearly $34 million for his role in uncovering the fraud, which prosecutors said spanned from 2006 to 2018 and involved money from the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Duke researcher at the heart of the scandal, Erin Potts-Kant, published more than a dozen papers based on falsified research.

Worse, prosecutors said that Duke administrators knew full well that Potts-Kant was faking her findings but because the federal money was rolling in, they didn’t want to say anything to put an end to the gravy train.

“Individuals and institutions that receive research funding from the federal government must be scrupulous in conducting research for the common good and rigorous in rooting out fraud,” prosecutors said. “May this serve as a lesson that the use of false or fabricated data in grant applications or reports is completely unacceptable.”

Duke did not want to comment to the media, but by accepting the deal, it is more or less an admission of guilt.

Duke’s president did make a comment to the school.

“This is a difficult moment for Duke,” Vincent Price, the school president, wrote in an email. “This case demonstrates the devastating impact of research fraud and reinforces the need for all of us to have a focused commitment on promoting research integrity and accountability.”

Nice words… too bad they knew they were doing wrong the whole time.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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