In DepthScientific Misconduct

Top German psychologist found to have fabricated data

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Science  09 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6538, pp. 117-118
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6538.117

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Summary

Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, a top psychologist in Germany and expert in the epidemiology of anxiety, is under fire after an investigation into one of his studies found evidence of manipulation—and elaborate efforts to cover up the misdeed. The investigation report, turned over to the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden) in February and obtained by Science, also shows Wittchen intimidated whistleblowers and pressured senior TU Dresden staff. The Federal Joint Committee, a public health organization, is suing the company it paid to do the study. And the Dresden public prosecutor's office is now investigating criminal charges related to the study. The study in question was a €2.4 million survey of staffing levels and quality at nearly 100 German psychiatric facilities; whistleblowers allege that survey data were fabricated.

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