Articles about "Jonah Lehrer"


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Why Jonah Lehrer’s ‘Imagine’ is worth reading, despite the problems

Imagine that you are reading a seriously flawed book. Its flaws have grown into a scandal, so you decide to read it to find out about all the hubbub. As you read, you come across this much-publicized problem, and then that one.

Rather than abandon it in its disgrace, you find yourself engaged and turning the pages, and suddenly your hand grabs for the highlighter to mark up this excellent paragraph about the origins of creativity, and then that one.

You like the book, really like it, but you can’t even recommend it because you don’t want to sound like a sucker, and, besides, the publisher, after sales of 200,000 in hardcover, recalls all the unsold copies. But you find two copies at a local bookstore, and you begin reading it, and liking it more and more.… Read more

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Wall Street Journal removes two Jonah Lehrer essays, corrects two others

Jonah Lehrer “inappropriately reused passages from articles he wrote for the Boston Globe in two essays that he later wrote for the Journal’s Review section,” The Wall Street Journal reported in a correction Thursday.

Both “Head Case: Brain Scan Overload” (published Nov. 12, 2011) and “Mom Was Right: Go Outside” (published May 26, 2012) have now been replaced by editor’s notes.

Dow Jones Corporate Communications Manager Sara Blask says by email, “We have examined all of Mr. Lehrer’s pieces.” As a result, Blask says, the paper has corrected two stories as well: “Kant on a Kindle?” (October 1, 2010) and “How To Be Creative” (March, 12, 2012)… Read more

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Wired.com investigator on latest Jonah Lehrer plagiarism: ‘I think the safety net has eroded’

Longtime science journalist Charles Seife was vaguely familiar with Jonah Lehrer’s work before Wired.com asked him two weeks ago to investigate a sample of blog posts for plagiarism, fabrication and other shortcuts.

“I didn’t have any pre-existing thoughts that this was a bad journalist,” Seife said by phone Friday night. “You go in really trying to prove innocence rather than guilt.”

But Seife found problems in 17 of the 18 blog posts he reviewed. In three of those posts, Lehrer plagiarized from other writers, in five he used verbatim portions of press releases, and in 14 posts he recycled his own writing from previously published pieces. It was this recycling, first reported by Jim Romenesko on June 19, that started the cascade of investigations and revelations about Lehrer’s books and his work for The New Yorker and Wired.… Read more

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Wired severs ties with Jonah Lehrer after investigator finds 22 more examples of plagiarism, recycling

Slate | Wired
Wired.com asked NYU journalism professor Charles Seife to investigate Jonah Lehrer’s work for the website after it was revealed that the writer had recycled some of his own material for New Yorker posts and had fabricated quotes in one of his books. For reasons that are unclear, Wired.com did not publish the results of Seife’s investigation, but Slate did.

Seife reviewed 18 posts and found 14 instances in which Lehrer recycled his own work, five posts that included material directly from press releases, three posts that plagiarized from other writers, four posts with problematic quotations and four that had problematic facts. Here’s a table summarizing his findings:… Read more

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Timeline of Jonah Lehrer plagiarism, fabrication revelations

June 19: Jim Romenesko reported that Jonah Lehrer recycled material for a New Yorker story
June 19: Joe Coscarelli published additional examples of Lehrer recycling material in New Yorker blog posts
June 19: Jacob Silverman found examples of Lehrer recycling in stories for The New York Times
June 20: Edward Champion published a comprehensive catalog of Lehrer’s recycling
June 20: Lehrer apologized for recycling his own material
June 21: New Yorker editor David Remnick said, “…if he were making things up or appropriating other people’s work that’s one level of crime.”
July 30: Michael Moynihan revealed fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in Lehrer’s “Imagine”
July 30: Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker… Read more

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Another source claims Lehrer misconduct: ‘I know I didn’t say’ half of that

WhatIWannaKnow.com | Michael Moynihan | Slate
Milton Glaser, the artist best known for inventing the “I ♥ NY” logo, tells interviewer Ryan Kohls he never said half of what Jonah Lehrer attributed to him in his book “Imagine.” He also calls Lehrer’s behavior “self-sabotage.”

Well, it was so odd the whole thing. First off, I felt so sad for the poor guy. Here he was, his future guaranteed, top of the world working for the New Yorker, writing a book that had already sold 200,000 copies, and he shot himself. How could he have done that knowing it was inevitable he would be discovered? What kind of madness? Why would anybody do that? The self-sabotage to that degree was incomprehensible. I looked back at what I had said and half of it I know I didn’t say.

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Wired clarifies: Lehrer has no current assignments

Wired
Wired Managing Editor Jacob Young writes that Jonah Lehrer “has no current assignments” at the magazine. Wednesday, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith and Reyhan Harmanci reported Wired spokesperson Jon Hammond had said Lehrer “was and remains on a features contract with Wired” and “Lehrer’s continuing contract with Wired, a Conde Nast sibling of the New Yorker, meant that ‘a couple of pieces that were already in the works’ and that the magazine anticipates future contributions from him.”

Later, Young clarified:

We want to ensure that there is no confusion regarding reports today about writer Jonah Lehrer and WIRED. Jonah has not been “hired” by WIRED; he’s been a contributing editor at the magazine and the website for years. When allegations surfaced about his work elsewhere, we immediately began a thorough review of his feature stories and columns in the magazine.

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Pity Wired’s fact-checkers if Jonah Lehrer writes again for the magazine

Update: BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith broke the news Wednesday that Wired is keeping confessed fabricator, problematic science writer, and self-plagiarist Jonah Lehrer on contract.

Wired spokesman Jonathan Hammond told the site that Lehrer had “a couple of pieces that were already in the works” and was expected to contribute in the future.

Based on that information, I examined what this meant for the magazine’s fact-checking department, as did The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. The original version of this post remains below, but parts of it have been eclipsed by a new statement, issued by Wired Managing Editor Jacob Young, that contradicts what Hammond said:

[Lehrer] has no current assignments. After gathering the facts–from our inquiry and elsewhere–we’ll make a decision about whether Jonah’s byline will appear again at WIRED.

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Wired says it’ll keep publishing Jonah Lehrer

BuzzFeed
Jonah Lehrer will keep his contract at Wired, Reyhan Harmanci and Ben Smith report.

“Jonah was and remains on a features contract with Wired,” spokesman Jon Hammond told BuzzFeed. “We chose to maintain our contract.”

The magazine is still looking at Lehrer’s previous work, Hammond tells Harmanci and Smith, but has not “come across anything that seems too troubling.”

Related: Why journalism should rehabilitate, not excommunicate, fabulists and plagiarists | How to handle plagiarism and fabrication allegationsRead more

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Science writers: Jonah Lehrer’s scientific errors worse than fabricated quotes

Discover Magazine | Psychology Today | Huffington Post | Meetings & Conventions

Jonah Lehrer’s fake Bob Dylan quotations detract from a more serious problem flagged by scientists while he was a rising star: his habit of misstating and mischaracterizing scientific facts. The problem, according to science writers, is that Lehrer isn’t a scientist, nor are his editors or readers.

A Discover Magazine commenter says he spotted an error in a 2010 New Yorker article by Lehrer, but “no amount of emailing or writing” The New Yorker would correct it.… Read more

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