A Cornell nutrition researcher who became famous all around the world thanks to his massively popular dieting senses that appealed to people’s common sense had his world shattered. Brian Wansink had his studies ultimately go down in flames because of a juicy statistics scandal and he has now resigned, with a thinner publication record to boot.
The editorial board of JAMA decided to retract six of studied which were co-authored by Wansink. This happened on Wednesday, September 19. The nutritionist’s retraction count thus reached the number 13, according to Retraction Watch, a watchdog publication which keeps such databases. Fifteen of Wansink’s other studies were corrected in a formal way.
The latest course of the scandal had Wansink resign from his position at Cornell, the decision becoming effective at the end of the academic year. According to Cornell Provost Michael Kotlikoff, an investigation conducted internally by a faculty committee found that “Professor Wansink committed academic misconduct in his research and scholarship, including misreporting of research data, problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship”.
According to Ars, all this scandal consisted of corrections, retraction and resignations stemmed from the author’s own admission. He apparently knowingly scavenged statistics in order to find meaningful conclusions which were difficult to gather otherwise from messy dieting data. You might be wondering just how we are affected by this.
Well, as a result of this scandal, common dietary tips which may have entered the pop culture stream are now either on the cutting board or on their way to the garbage bin. Things like stashing unnecessary snacks into places that are hard to reach or using smaller plates as a means to eating less food are compromised.
Laura grew up in a small town in northern Quebec. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children. Laura is an advocate for people with disabilities.