Previous Academic Fraud on Gun Control

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Previous Academic Fraud on Gun Control

Postby Martin_tu » Mon, 2006-04-17 09:05

NEH halts backing for gun historian's grant
Washington Times
May 22, 2002

Byline: Robert Stacy McCain

The National Endowment for the Humanities has withdrawn its name from a fellowship for a professor facing accusations of research fraud over his book about the history of gun ownership in America. Chicago's Newberry Library "was in error when it awarded an NEH-supported fellowship" to Emory University history professor Michael Bellesiles, NEH Deputy Chairman Lynne Munson wrote Monday in a letter to Newberry officials.

The library, Miss Munson wrote, awarded the fellowship in February 2001 despite "serious challenges to Professor Bellesiles' research" in his 2000 book, "Arming America," which claimed that gun ownership was rare in early America. "Because the name of the National Endowment for the Humanities represents a standard that Professor Bellesiles' application [for the fellowship] did not meet, we are revoking the NEH's name from this fellowship," Miss Munson wrote to James Grossman, vice president for research and education at the Newberry Library. "Please remove from all Newberry materials, including your Web site, any association of Professor Bellesiles with the NEH." * * *

Published to critical acclaim in October 2000, "Arming America" won the prestigious Bancroft Award and was embraced by advocates of gun control, who said his research contradicted the view that the Second Amendment was intended to protect private ownership of firearms. But the book has come under increasing criticism from scholars who say that Mr. Bellesiles misrepresented or even fabricated historical records to support his contention that gun ownership was rare in the United States before the Civil War. * * *

Mr. Bellesiles has refused all media comment for months. He has responded to the charges only in an article in the William and Mary Quarterly in which he impugned the motives of his book's critics. In February, Emory University in Atlanta announced an internal investigation into Mr. Bellesiles' research. Last month, the university said it had "concluded that further investigation would be warranted by an independent committee of distinguished scholars from outside Emory." That investigation is expected to be finished by September.

In her letter to the Newberry Library, Miss Munson wrote that "it is the Endowment's opinion that the Newberry's procedure for handling cases of research misconduct is flawed. The federal research misconduct policy calls for investigation and adjudication of fraudulent claims made not only in grant products, but also in applications for federal funds submitted to federal agencies and to their institutional grantees." * * *
"I'd rather have a gun and not need it than vice versa."
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