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Resignation Call

The Observer reports that there have been calls for a University of College London professor to resign his post after fraudulent research was found to have come from his lab.

According to the Observer, the pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis raised questions about images appearing in numerous publications from David Latchman's lab, which led the school to review 60 papers it published since 1997. David Latchman is a geneticist at UCL and master of Birkbeck, University of London.

Two investigations by UCL, one in 2015 and one in 2018, found Latchman was not involved in or aware of the fraud, but the Observer notes the investigations were critical of him, saying that Latchman did not run his lab properly and did uphold a finding of research misconduct against him. It adds a disciplinary hearing found there was no sufficient grounds to dismiss him. Latchman has blamed junior staff in his lab for the misconduct, according to the Observer.

But academics tell the Observer they are surprised Latchman did not resign. "Things go wrong in science all the time but the facts and the data have to be sacred," Gudrun Moore, who is also a geneticist at UCL, says. "If we are not telling our young researchers that, what are we telling them? That if you don't get the outcome you want, you can just make it up?"