NEW YORK — Science magazine has formally retracted an article about a study gauging the ability of openly gay canvassers to shift voters’ views toward support for same-sex marriage.
One of the authors of the article, Columbia University political science professor Donald Green, requested the retraction on May 19, saying co-author Michael LaCour had been unable to produce the raw data underlying the study….(more)
Study had claimed that a brief discussion with a gay canvasser could make a voter more likely to support gay marriage.
Amid a tidal wave of criticism, Science is retracting a study of how canvassers can sway people’s opinions about gay marriage published just 5 months ago. The retraction comes without the agreement of the paper’s lead author, Michael J. LaCour, a political science Ph.D. student at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles. LaCour’s attorney has told Science that LaCour made false claims about some aspects of the study, according to the retraction statement, including misrepresenting his funding sources and the incentives that he offered to survey participants.
“In addition to these known problems, independent researchers have noted certain statistical irregularities in the responses,” Science Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt wrote in the retraction statement. “LaCour has not produced the original survey data from which someone else could independently confirm the validity of the reported findings.”
McNutt wrote: “The reasons for retracting the paper are as follows: (i) Survey incentives were misrepresented. To encourage participation in the survey, respondents were claimed to have been given cash payments to enroll, to refer family and friends, and to complete multiple surveys. In correspondence received from Michael J. LaCour’s attorney, he confirmed that no such payments were made. (ii) The statement on sponsorship was false. Read the rest of this entry »