Crooked Symmetry

In an article posted in Nature on May 9, 2013, Eugenie Samuel Reich reports on a study published in Nature and featured on the front cover in 2005 that purported to demonstrate that dancers with symmetrical bodies were rated more favorably by peers than those with less symmetry. Furthermore, symmetry was related to dancing ability and ultimately, the authors related this finding to sexual preferences. Two years later, the director of the study, Robert Trivers, an evolutionary biologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, suspected the data had been fabricated by the first author on the article, William M. Brown. Here followed a falling out between colleagues at Rutgers and Trivers was banned from the campus for 5 months following harsh words in 2012. Nature is actively pursuing whether or not to retract the paper. Meanwhile, Brown basks in glory at the University of Bedfordshire, UK as Senior Lecturer in Exercise Psychology and Biomechanics. He lists 13 journal articles including the controversial article in 2005. Trivers has a website with lots more information and good reading: And so does Brown:

Posted in ethical concerns, news item, possible fraud
One comment on “Crooked Symmetry
  1. Chong says:

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