A fairly accurate and well done, and more up to date, account of what has gone on with the Marc Hauser investigation is here, in a piece punished in the New York Times by Nicholas Wade: In Harvard Lab Inquiry, a Raid and a 3-Year Wait.
It is very clear that the Fourth Estate is on the verge of a detailed and clear description of events.
At this point in time, it is probably a good idea for Harvard to release their internal report or a very good summary of it. Here’s why:
1) There are people who have worked over the years in Hauser’s lab. As long as a cloud of uncertainty rests over this lab, it rests over them as well. That needs to be addressed.
2) There are people who know exactly what happened. It would appear that they are mostly remaining silent, and that can’t last forever.
It would be in Harvard’s interest to simply state the facts, and to be the first to do so. Harvard tends to take the long view of things, willing to either wait out events for decades (the college is, after all, nearly a half millennium old) or taking the punches of a given scandal which could never be as large as the institution’s Olympian reputation. But the world is a little different today. Information does not wait, and people do not care as much as they once did about the clout of an institution, no matter how nice the typeface on their letterhead or how crimson and ivy their countenance. People these days tend to respect a different institution more: Truth and openness.
Let’s have the report, and soon.