Stanford President Resigns Over Flawed Scientific Research

  • Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne is resigning, the school said Wednesday.
  • The resignation comes after student journalists uncovered manipulated data in scientific papers he authored.
  • Tessier-Lavigne defended his record but said he was stepping down for the good of the school.

An investigation by Stanford’s student-run newspaper has taken down Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the prestigious school’s president and a prominent neuroscientist.

Tessier-Lavigne announced Wednesday that he’ll step down after the school’s own investigation found there were serious flaws in some of his published scientific work, including papers that included manipulated data.

While insisting that he never knowingly published inaccurate science and was not aware of the manipulation, Marc Tessier-Lavigne wrote in a statement that he would resign at the end of August “for the good of the university.”

Tessier-Lavigne has been the school’s president since 2016.

Last year, The Stanford Daily, a student publication, published an investigation identifying serious problems in some of Tessier-Lavigne’s published work, including evidence that images were improperly altered.

Stanford later commissioned its own report by an outside law firm after students revealed the fraud in papers affiliated with Tessier Lavigne. The school’s investigation found evidence of manipulation and “serious flaws in the presentation of research data,” though it also found that the Stanford president himself “did not have actual knowledge” of the manipulation.

In his statement, Tessier-Lavigne insisted that he was unaware of the issues with his scientific papers. But, he said, “I want to be clear that I take responsibility for the work of my lab members.”

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