More Potential Academic Fraud: Sociology Edition
Alice Goffman published a widely praised study of life among young men with criminal histories in American Inner-Cities. The book was called On The Run: Fugitive Life in An American City:
Now a Northwestern University School of Law Professor is challenging some of her stories of being implausible and showing unethical research standards. He also accuses her of being an accessory/participant to a serious crime.
Alice Goffman denies all allegations. The problem is that she has made it next to impossible to check her work because the names in the book are pseudonyms, she shredded her notes, and sequestered her thesis.
Needless to say that if the allegations against Goffman are true, she likely hurt the cause and plight of those that she wanted to help very much and for very good reason. It is impossible to tell how much these fabrications and obsfucations come from a desire to help or a desire for fame and glory.