Brian Wansink Resigns From Cornell After Studies Retracted

A prominent food researcher has resigned from his post at Cornell University after an investigation found major issues with his research. Six of his high-profile journal articles were retracted earlier this week.

Brian Wansink, known for his buzzy behavioral science studies focusing on food, has been removed from all research and teaching at Cornell following an internal investigation that revealed academic misconduct, the school announced in a statement Thursday.

“The 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,” a statement says.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) announced Wednesday that six of Wansink’s research articles published in its network of journals had been retracted after JAMA raised concerns about their validity. After conducting an evaluation, Cornell told JAMA editors: “We regret that, because we do not have access to the original data, we cannot assure you that the results of the studies are valid.” The retracted studies — many of which were widely publicized by media outlets, including TIME — were published from 2005 to 2014 and covered topics including the effects of eating from large bowls, grocery shopping while hungry, eating while watching action movies and the consequences of eating everything on your plate.

Wansink has had 13 scientific articles retracted during his career, including one that was retracted, replaced and retracted again, according to the blog Retraction Watch. He told CNN on Thursday, before Cornell’s statement was released, that he stands by the results of the six studies recently pulled by JAMA.

Wansink’s resignation at Cornell takes effect at the end of the academic year, the school said. Among his other duties at the school, he directed the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

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