First there was Rogoff and Rienhardt. Now Jason Richwine. I, for one, had thought that all research coming out of Harvard would be of the highest academic quality. But now I know that this is not the case. First two Harvard economics professors (with ties to Pete Peterson) produced an abysmal paper supporting austerity that was slammed from the start. But because of the Harvard name, and the fact that it supported the agenda of the corporate raiders and other one-per-centers, it was quoted widely by right-wing politicians in the US and Europe. Then, a graduate student tried to reproduce the paper's findings as course assignment. He found glaring spreadsheet errors and a deliberate exclusion of data that did not fit the thesis.(Aside: Many in the economics profession are an embarrassment to academia. It is interesting to note that climate science denial-ism never made it into academia, no matter how much money the oil CEOs were willing to shell out. So how was it that economics was so easily corrupted by big money?)
Now, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government has awarded a PhD to a student who wrote a thesis that allegedly shows that Hispanics have lower IQs and should not be allowed to immigrate here. In a lengthy and carefully analysis by Zack Beauchamp at Think Progress, he explains that Richwine didn't even supply a definition of “Hispanic” that could stand up to the most casual scrutiny. (If you are claiming that some group lacks some genetic endowment, wouldn't you have to show that that group comes from a common genetic pool?) And why didn't the dissertation include a review of the literature regarding the meaning of “Hispanic” and quasi social-geographic-linguistic categories in general? (Oh and wouldn't you know, his primary advisory was -can you guess?- an economist!)

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