Last year, three scholars submitted fake research papers to various journals in an effort to show that sanity and reason go out the window when it comes to gender issues. The hoax was a success, with seven out of 20 papers accepted for publication (four were published before the hoax was exposed) and seven more were under review. Just six were rejected.
After the hoax was revealed, one of the scholars, Portland State University philosophy professor Peter Boghossian, was investigated by his employer for alleged ethics violations relating to his research project, as The Daily Wire previously reported. Last week, Boghossian received the final results of the investigation, which concluded he did not violate any standards pertaining to the ethical treatment of animals, nor did he plagiarize, fabricate, or falsify any research. PSU did find, however, that Boghossian had violated norms relating to “human subjects’ rights and protection.”
Boghossian’s research papers were fake. There were no actual test subjects for the papers. The “test subjects” were the people who accepted the papers without thoroughly reviewing them.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Boghossian posted the letter from Mark McLellan, PSU’s vice president for research and graduate studies, which detailed the findings and his punishment. For allegedly violating the rights of human test subjects, Boghossian was ordered to complete “training specified by the Director of Research Compliance prior to any future work regarding human subjects” and banning him “from any future human subjects work” and “all sponsored research” until he completed that training.
McLellan wrote in his letter that he had previously told Boghossian to take the training, yet the philosophy professor had not done so. Because of this, Boghossian is now “forbidden” from engaging “in any human subjects related research as principal investigator, collaborator or contributor.” The ban will remain until he completes the training and demonstrates his understanding of the rights of human subjects to the university. Boghossian is also “forbidden” from engaging “in any sponsored research as principal investigator, collaborator or contributor” until he completes the training and proves his understanding.
McLellan concluded his letter by admonishing Boghossian’s “integrity” and ethics.
“I believe the results of this office’s review of your research behavior raises concerns regarding a lack of academic integrity, questionable ethical behavior and employee breach of rules,” McLellan wrote (emphasis original). He added that he was sending a copy of the letter to Boghossian’s supervisors and PSU’s president for “the consideration of an appropriate academic and/or administrative review.”
In a documentary posted in January, Boghossian’s collaborators, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, discussed the academic review. Lindsay told Boghossian the review was “Orwellian,” as their hoax was essentially an “audit” of the Gender Studies community — not research.
Indeed, the most famous fake paper from Boghossian, Pluckrose, and Lindsay insisted that dog parks promote “rape culture.” The paper was so absurd that then-Campus Reform reporter Tori Airaksinen looked into it and discovered the “author” had lied about her credentials. Various other media outlets picked up the story and Airaksinen’s reporting, which led the scholars to expose their hoax early.
Other studies that were accepted for publication included one that suggested we stop praising people who build muscle instead of those who build fat, another that encouraged men to anally self-penetrate to “decrease transphobia and increase feminist values,” and another that claimed men went to “breastaurants” such as Hooters “because they are nostalgic for patriarchal dominance and enjoy being able to order attractive women around.”