August 18, 2012
August 7, 2012
Since Jonah Lehrer came up in the open thread last week, I’m going to mention it. First, I’ll preface this by saying that my interactions with Jonah, who I labeled the “boy king of cognitive neuroscience” jokingly at one point, were all positive. Since Jonah quoted me in The Wall Street Journal I received an email from a fact-checker asking me about this. He didn’t misquote me, and on the contrary, he was punctilious about correcting a misspelling of my name. I liked what I knew about Jonah as a person, and the whole episode has left me rather depressed.
Plagiarism, fabulism, whatever you call it, what he did was horrible. But what really sent me over the edge was the possibility that Jonah threw an editor under the bus, casting blame elsewhere to cover up his sloppiness. The main reason I post this is that I want to reproduce a comment which illustrates the sort of error Jonah regularly made:
If anything I was a little surprised that you thought it was fit to mention Lehrer’s post on the decline effect in one of your posts lately as noteworthy exception to poor science journalism industry (if I can ...