The journal Science has decided to retract a study regarding changing attitudes toward the issue of gay marriage, saying that the lawyer of one of the co-authors had already admitted to the inaccuracy of its contents.
Michael LaCour, a PhD student taking political science in UCLA, had previously announced he was gathering evidence in order to respond to the controversy.
The study entitled “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality” was already picked up by news outlets. It claims that it only takes 20 minutes of conversation for a gay canvasser to change the attitude of an individual regarding gay marriage. The study further claims that the change in thinking can go as far as nine months.
According to researchers from Stanford, who were able to discover discrepancies within the study, they attempted to contact the survey firm LaCour had supposedly used for the project. The firm, however, replied that they were never contacted and that the staff the study claims to have hired never even existed.
Science journal wrote in its editorial retraction, “LaCour has not produced the original survey data from which someone else could independently confirm the validity of the reported findings.”
On Wednesday, Science of Us reported that LaCour also fabricated parts of his CV, which claimed he earned the “Emerging Instructor Award, UCLA Office of Instructional Development, 2013-2014.”
In the article, Jesse Singal wrote that the staffer they contacted said that the award does not exist. “I don’t know if he either misnamed our department or if it’s from another department.”
The CV has since been taken down in the UCLA website.
LaCour had asked Science of Us to hold off publishing the news until he releases a statement, to which the website refused. Shortly, the CV that was uploaded in his website was changed, and the new version no longer includes the Emerging Instructor Award, with the section listing down his acquired grants removed as well.