The lawyer for Michael LaCour, the controversial author of the study on gay marriages which was pulled by the journal Science, has admitted to the journal that the PhD student fabricated data.
A PhD student of political science from UCLA, LaCour was accused of fabricating information as previously reported by Tech Times; due to which the journal Science had to retract the study.
The study entitled "When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality" was on changing attitudes of people toward gay marriages, how viewpoints on same-sex marriages could be altered by one-on-one conversations with gay campaigners.
Now the lawyer for LaCour has confirmed to Science that he was indeed guilty of fabricating data for the study. LaCour's previous assertions that survey respondents were offered cash incentives were fake and none of the organizations that were listed as the sponsors for the study were funding the research.
"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. In the Report, LaCour acknowledged funding from the Williams Institute, the Ford Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. Per correspondence from LaCour's attorney, this statement was not true," revealed the journal Science.
Moreover, independent researchers also noted several irregularities in the data and LaCour was not forthcoming with the original survey information so that other people could validate his findings.
LaCour has previously denied the accusations, saying that he was not in agreement with the retraction of the study. In a previous statement he has said that he will respond to the accusations by Friday, May 29.
"I will supply a definitive response on or before May 29, 2015. I appreciate your patience, as I gather evidence and relevant information, since I only became aware of the allegations about my work on the evening of May 19, 2015, when the not peer-reviewed comments in 'Irregularities in LaCour (2014),' were posted publicly online," said LaCour in a previous statement.
The study's co-author Donald Green is embarrassed by the events. Green revealed that post the authenticity of the study results being questioned, he asked LaCour to give the contact information of the survey participants. However, LaCour did not provide the same and claimed that the data had been deleted accidentally.
It will be interesting to see if UCLA will continue to stand by LaCour and what is the "single comprehensive response" the PhD student will offer.