Friday, August 31, 2012

Bad news day for witch-hunters

The University of Texas - Austin has done a thoroughly good piece of work in vindicating Professor Mark Regnerus in the face of allegations of what amounted to professional misconduct. Perhaps its officials feel it is a pity that they cannot make counter-charges of time-wasting against those who trumped up the charges against him.

The  official University inquiry has found that Regnerus, the author of a research study on the effects of same-sex relationships upon children, “did not commit scientific misconduct” as alleged by a homosexual activist who disagreed with the study’s findings.

press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom notes:

America’s universities should always serve as truth-seeking, free marketplaces of ideas,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “Disagreeing with a study’s conclusions is not grounds for allegations of scientific misconduct; therefore, we are not surprised that those accusations were found to be baseless. This comprehensive, peer-reviewed research study consisted of leading scholars and researchers across disciplines and ideological lines in a spirit of civility and reasoned inquiry. We agree with the UT-Austin inquiry’s conclusion that the academy is the appropriate place for debate about this study.

Regnerus’ New Family Structures Study suggests that differences exist in outcomes for young adults raised in various environments with different family experiences. His university conducted an official inquiry after activist blogger Scott Rosensweig (who goes by “Scott Rose”) accused him of scientific misconduct in the study and in how the results were reported in a scientific article about the study’s findings. Because the inquiry found the allegations to be unsubstantiated, UT-Austin says it will not conduct a formal investigation.

statement from the University says that the inquiry  concluded that

Professor Regnerus did not commit scientific misconduct when designing, executing, and reporting the research reported in the Social Science Research article. None of the allegations of scientific misconduct put forth by Mr. Rose were substantiated either by the physical data, written materials, or by information provided during the interviews. Several of the allegations were beyond the purview of the inquiry.

(UT-Austin information page on Regnerus inquiry.)

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