One of the authors of a recent study which claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it. The retraction this week of the popular article published in a December issue of the Science academic journal follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.” According to academic watchdog Retraction Watch, Columbia University political science professor Donald Green published a retraction of the paper on Tuesday after confronting co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate assistant at UCLA.
The study received widespread media coverage from The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and others, when it was released in December. “I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green told the blog. In an email to POLITICO, Green said that he spoke with LaCour by phone on Tuesday, and that he “maintained that he did not fabricate the data but told me that he could not locate the Qualtrics source files for the surveys on the Qualtrics interface or on any of his drives.”Qualtrics is the survey firm that purportedly conducted the original study. “I asked him to write a retraction, and he indicated he would do so, but when it did not appear last night, I sent off my own retraction,” Green wrote.
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