Stanford Executive Resigns After Photoshopped Images Found On His Research

One would expect that the people in top positions in an establishment that prioritizes academic integrity would follow that principle. This one, sadly, did not. 

Marc Tessier-Lavigne has resigned from his post as president of Stanford University after a student journalist revealed that the photos he included in his research papers were digitally altered and falsified. Tessier Lavigne left the post after seven years of service to the institution after the report showed proof of his wrongdoings. 

According to NPR, a total of twelve papers authored by Tessier-Lavigne were found to have photoshopped images. These include lab panels that were digitally stitched together, panel backgrounds that were altered, as well as blot results that were not his, but taken from other research papers. Yikes!

Theo Baker, an 18-year-old student journalist, was the one who revealed the proof behind the photos to the public. “The allegations revolved around the idea that images that were published in his papers had been manipulated and Photoshopped to show results that they did not actually represent,” Baker told ABC 7 News Bay Area. 

The student further stated that the news of the former president publishing manipulated results was not new. “They were hiding in scientific forums, they were hiding on blog posts, but they had never been reported even when he assumed the post of Stanford’s president where he directs an institution with more than $8.9 billion in yearly funding — higher than 11 U.S. states,” Baker shared.

Aside from resigning from his post, Tessier-Lavigne has issued retractions concerning the papers that had manipulated images. However, a panel hired by Stanford to review the issue concluded that the former president did not have a big enough role in publishing the facts and figures on the reports he co-authored. For the other papers that he was the main author, the scientific panel also decided that he was not aware of the manipulations. 

“I agree that in some instances I should have been more diligent when seeking corrections, and I regret that I was not,” Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement. “The Panel’s review also identified instances of manipulation of research data by others in my lab. Although I was unaware of these issues, I want to be clear that I take responsibility for the work of my lab members.”

Image credit: wikimedia commons

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So the cheater/liar gets support from his own institution and he gets away with his deceptions. *sigh* I am so sick and tired of people doing wrong things and getting a free ride with no repercussions.
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