If you cast your mind back to early June, before the state Legislative Auditor announced that his office would be reviewing controversial drug studies in the Department of Psychiatry, you will remember that the University of Minnesota announced that it would be hiring an old friend, the AAHRPP, to conduct its own review, at a cost of $141,900.
Not a review of the Markingson case, of course. After all, the AAHRPP states up front that it does not "second-guess" researchers. So it won't be looking at this outrageous case, or this one, or any others. Instead, at the instruction of the very administrators who have repeatedly refused to investigate research misconduct, it will be looking at oversight policies and procedures over the past three years.
It is as if investigators were summoned to a crime scene, but instead of examining the corpse, they agreed to look only at state homicide statutes.
I won't rehearse all of the many problems with the AAHRPP review committee. For that you can read the response of the scholars who called for a review, or the response by Public Citizen, or the objections by Leigh Turner. The conflicts of interest are astonishing.
The AAHRPP review committee will be on campus September 9 and 10, conducting interviews and examining papers. You can look at their review proposal here.