Phi Beta Cons

Red Wine and Fraud at UConn

A story today of prolific fraud out of UConn. University researcher Dipak K. Das has been accused of falsifying research related to the health benefits of red wine. A three-year investigation has produced a 60,000-page report detailing 145 instances in which he fabricated data.

Das has been awarded loads of money over the years in federal grants for his “research,” most of which was published in obscure journals and was of laughably low quality. Two newly received grants alone were worth $890,000.

This is obviously a depressing waste of taxpayers’ dollars. On the bright side, those readers who imbibe strictly for therapeutic purposes need not despair. Das’s fraud apparently doesn’t negate all the reported health benefits of red wine we’ve been hearing about for years. What it does, rather, is raise the question of accountability in the disbursement of federal research grants. Who in our government was responsible for monitoring the quality of work done under Das’s grants? Were they drinking on the job?

Since standards are so low, and accountability so lacking, I’m thinking I may build a wine cellar in my house and set up my own research lab. Probably start by experimenting on some ’69 Chateaux Margaux. Can I have $890,000 please?

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