Science magazine formally retracts study on voters’ gay rights views

Donald Green (left) had requested the retraction on May 19, saying his co-author, Michael LaCour (right) had been unable to produce the raw data that was used in the study.

Donald Green (left) had requested the retraction on May 19, saying his co-author, Michael LaCour (right) had been unable to produce the raw data that was used in the study. Facebook

Donald Green (left) had requested the retraction on May 19, saying his co-author, Michael LaCour (right) had been unable to produce the raw data that was used in the study.Facebook

Donald Green (left) had requested the retraction on May 19, saying his co-author, Michael LaCour (right) had been unable to produce the raw data that was used in the study.

NEW YORK — Science magazine on Thursday formally retracted a highly publicized article about a study gauging the ability of openly gay canvassers to shift voters’ views toward support for same-sex marriage.

One of the authors of the article, Columbia University political science professor Donald Green, had requested the retraction on May 19, saying his co-author, Michael LaCour, had been unable to produce the raw data that was used in the study.

Science magazine, after its own investigation, said it decided to proceed with the retraction even though LaCour – a graduate assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles – did not agree with that decision.

Science said it based the retraction on misrepresentation of cash incentives for survey participants, false statements about financial sponsorship of the survey, and the inability to produce original data, “which makes it impossible to verify or alleviate concerns about statistical irregularities.”

LaCour did not respond immediately to an email from The Associated Press, and his phone number was not taking messages.

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On his website was this message: “I will supply a definitive response on or before May 29, 2015. I appreciate your patience, as I gather evidence and relevant information.”

The article in Science received widespread news coverage when it appeared in December, including articles by The Associated Press, The New York Times and the Washington Post.

The article detailed a study which concluded that openly gay canvassers were far more effective than straight canvassers in shifting voters’ views toward support for same-sex marriage.

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