Enlarge / Can an elementary-school child eat this pile of carrots? (credit: flickr user: Diane Main)
Brian Wansink didn’t mean to spark an investigative fury that revisited his entire life’s work. He meant to write a well-intentioned blog post encouraging PhD students to jump at research opportunities.

But his blog post accidentally highlighted some questionable research practices that caused a group of data detectives to jump on the case.
Wansink attracted the attention because he’s a rockstar researcher—when someone’s work has had such astronomical impact, problems in their research are a big deal. His post also came at a time when his field, social sciences, is under increased scrutiny due to problems reproducing some of its key findings.
Wansink is probably regretting he ever started typing. Tim van der Zee, one of the scientists participating in the ongoing examination into Wansink’s past, keeps a running account of what’s turned up so far. “To the best of my knowledge,” van der Zee writes in a blog post most recently updated on April 6, “there are currently 42 publications from Wansink which are alleged to contain minor to very serious issues, which have been cited over 3,700 times, are published in over 25 different journals, and in eight books, spanning over 20 years of research.”
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