Humor | Board of Trustees finds MTL ‘innocent’ after TOTALLY fair and impartial process

Humor by Richard Coca
Dec. 5, 2022, 7:12 p.m.

The Stanford Board of Trustees recently found Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne innocent of scientific misconduct after an investigation into his alleged role in several counts of image alterations throughout papers on which he is listed as an author. After days of deliberation, the board unanimously voted to clear Tessier-Lavigne, who they say “is no photoshop expert.”

The board’s decision was met with both shock and outrage by the scientific community. Many questioned the board’s qualifications to make such a decision, given that none of its members had ever done wet lab research or been involved in any kind of scientific research.

“It’s just unbelievable that the board of trustees would make such a decision without any scientific background. Do they even know how to read a western blot?” asked Dr. Annie Novus at Stanford. “It’s like asking my dog walker to diagnose a brain tumor!”

But the Board of Trustees clapped back at these critiques. In a statement, the board said that its members had “meticulously reviewed the evidence and determined that there was no scientific misconduct on the part of Tessier-Lavigne” and that “even if he did copy and paste a couple of pictures poorly, it doesn’t change the fact that he helps advise us on which biotech stocks to invest in, so he gets a pass.”

The board also noted that Tessier-Lavigne had fully disclosed all of his financial interests and had complied with all of Stanford’s policies and procedures. 

The decision of the Board of Trustees has been met with a great deal of controversy. Many have accused the board of not taking the allegations of scientific misconduct seriously enough, and of giving Tessier-Lavigne the benefit of the doubt due to his position as president of the University.

“I’m appalled that the Board of Trustees would not simply entrust this decision to an independent, third-party panel of scientific experts,” said another researcher at Stanford. “It just shows how little regard they have for integrity in research, even as Stanford likes to pride itself as a research institution.” 

Another faculty member who sits on the Faculty Senate commented under anonymity about how the Board of Trustees’ decision has undermined her authority.

“How are students going to buy into the new updates to the honor code when the president himself got honor-coded before them?”

But despite the criticism, the Board of Trustees stands by its decision. Shortly after its statement, the board said that it had taken the allegations of scientific misconduct seriously and had come to its conclusion “based on the best available evidence.” A member of the board also commented that “there’s only so many hours you can look at random blots on a piece of paper” because “after a while, they all look the same if I’m being honest.”

It is clear that the Board of Trustees is determined to protect Tessier-Lavigne and his reputation. Tessier-Lavigne has yet to respond to requests for comments; sources around him inform us that he is celebrating this victory, but is still looking to pin this all on some poor postdoc. 

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Richard Coca '22 has previously served as editor of The Grind for volume 258, managing editor of Satire in vol. 257, and CLIP Co-chair in vol. 255. He is majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Anthropology. Contact him at rcoca 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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