It’s a poor job-hunting strategy


You may have been left hanging in the case of Michael LaCour, the UCLA grad student who seems to have invented a bunch of his data. Before he was exposed, he’d been offered a job at Princeton, and was supposed to start working there this summer.

Whoops. Princeton has rescinded that offer.

Let that be a lesson to you all, kids: don’t fabricate data and don’t lie on your CV. It never ends well.


  1. davidnangle says

    Is that really his picture? Or did he use a character creator in some game?

  2. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    And yet, had this not come to light, he’d probably start at a rather prestigious job soon. Basically, the sad part is that this…

    “It never ends well.”

    …isn’t really true. I’d assume numerous people like him got away with it. Maybe not forever – as various cases of people, including prominent politicians, losing their academic titles and positions even years later show – but for a long time, for long enough to benefit and to take away others’ opportunities.

  3. says

    @davidnangle #1
    Seriously? You feel it prudent to make backhanded jab at someone’s appearance? I will never get it what compells people to do this, I even meet it at work.

    Look, there is plenty of good people around, who do not lie, cheat and/or invent data, who nevertheless look similarly to that picture. By making fun of someone because of their appearance, you are completely missing your target and hitting where you shouldn’t.

    If you want to criticise someone – and in this case there is plenty of reasons – criticise what they have done, not what they look like.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    So what do you think will happen? This time next year will he be working in a factory or in a university?

  5. davidnangle says

    Charly, I thought I *did* criticize what he did. I make no comment about his appearance, positive or negative. I just question his veracity, even beyond his professional conduct, as a matter of satire.

  6. tulse says

    Wait…I thought the Vast Left-Wing Gay Atheist Evilutionist Conspiracy always won? How is it that this guy is Expelled, when he was clearly on the correct side of things? Liberal scientists only care about pushing their agenda, not about Truth, right?

    I’m so confused…

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 4:
    With that smile, he would excel as a WalMart greeter. /snark

    re 2:
    worst possible scenario:
    He’ll be sought, for being so clever to fabricate data to slip it through the peer-reviewed research criteria. Sounds like a perfect CV for a home loan provider: fabricate income data, to approve extravagant loans to one unable to complete the loan payment.

  8. says

    Well, maybe I am dim, I certainly do not get allways everything right and understand everything perfectly.

    But I do not see how this “Is that really his picture? Or did he use a character creator in some game?” is a critique of what he has done. I do not see the “point” I am allegedly missing at all. No matter how much I try to understand this, I cannot interpret it as anything else but a snarky comment about the picture and/or the face it portrays.

  9. chigau (違う) says

    The snark about his picture was, “He lied about his data, what else is he lying about?”

  10. Marc Abian says

    -don’t lie on your CV. It never ends well.

    I can think of a few counter-examples.

  11. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 11:
    glad you noticed the “/snark” tag in my@7.

  12. anteprepro says

    Uh oh, someone lost an academic job simply over Mere Words!!? GULAG LYNCH WITCH STONING MOB HUNT THOUGHT POLICE FIRING SQUAD!!! Where’s the Menz Brigade, and the Ivory Tower Freedom Squad, to come to this poor besieged man’s side? I am led to believe that losing your job over simple debatable statements made to the public is simply a horrible and wretched ordeal. Even when it isn’t actually a paying job and is just an honorary position. Where are the noble crusaders to defend this poor man!?

  13. qwints says

    This guy’s a friend of a friend and the weirdest thing is that he’s apparently incredibly intelligent, persuasive, and did really solid work that definitely wasn’t faked.

  14. says

    slithey tove @ 13:

    re 11:
    glad you noticed the “/snark” tag in my@7.

    Not the fucking point. Adding a snark tag does not make comments about someone’s appearance magically okay. You fucked up,* and you should accept that, not be attempting a defense.
    * Not only did you go after appearance, but managed to put down anyone who happens to keep a roof over their head by working at Walmart. When your remark is at the cost of other people, you should think a lot about committing it to pixels.

  15. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 17:
    Yes, you’re correct. I took what I thought was a “cheap shot”. My bad. I do apologize for going that way.

  16. says

    The joke in #1 is that he faked the photo, like he faked the data. No comment whatsoever about his appearance. Just a funny comment about the guy’s lack of integrity. I can’t even imagine what kind of insult about his appearance that could even be construed as.

    When multiple people point out that you missed the point, calm down, listen, and think.

  17. says

    OK, I get how the #1 was meant now, but it is not as obvious as it might seem to you, davidnangle. And it is not perhaps as good a satire as you meant it. At least not to me.

    Because in all discusions about game character generators I ever read, there is always plethora of comments about how those generated characters look goofy or ugly. That is why your phrasing ticked me off, because this is first asociation I have with the phrase “character creator in some game”.

    If you phrased is “Can we trust he put his own picture on his webpage, or did he generate that as well?”, I would understand it.

    And also I admit to having a short fuse with regard to this, because I have a few coleagues who indulge in gleeful body shaming and it pisses me of to no end.

  18. Reginald Selkirk says

    qwints #15: …. and did really solid work that definitely wasn’t faked.

    I presume you are referring to some other occasion. The evidence that he engaged in fakery on this occasion is pretty solid.

  19. qwints says

    @Reginald Selkirk, yes. Not trying to defend his conduct. Just strange that such a talented guy decided to fabricate something out of whole cloth.

  20. davidnangle says

    Charly, I understand I am not always clear when I’m trying to be snarky. Sorry about that.

  21. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Let that be a lesson to you all, kids: don’t fabricate data and don’t lie on your CV. It never ends well.


    … I wish you were right, but I doubt it.

  22. sawells says

    @23: it seems a big driver towards fraud is when someone really has some good work in hand, and they’re really really sure about how the next part will come out, and they start thinking that it won’t do any harm if they cut a few corners; maybe claim they have the results now which they’re sure they really will have in just a little while.

  23. Lofty says

    Apparent fluent lying ability at an early age is a good indicator of high intelligence. I’m sure this guy will pool his talents to get rich some other way.

  24. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    anteprepro @14 speaks for me.

    What about academic freedom, huh?