MIT prof sacked for fabricating data

Luk Van Parijs, an associate professor of biology at MIT has been fired after admitting to fabricating and falsifying research data in a published scientific paper and several manuscripts and grant applications. Serious doubts are also being expressed over the accuracy of data published by him much earlier in his career.

Luk Van Parijs in happier times

He was considered a rising star in his fields of research — immunology and RNA interference.

This isn’t a particularly shocking story really — for example, check out “Most scientific papers are probably wrong”. That reports a different type of “wrong” (none of those particular findings were found to be false), but does illustrate that quite often the need to publish can mean that experimental design and reported results are a bit shaky… and the temptation can be there to fudge things a bit.

Update, 3 Nov: Immunologists prepare for fraud fallout.

Thanks lorac for your comments.