Gender professor cleared of dishonesty

Uppsala University has cleared feminist academic Eva Lundgren of scientific dishonesty after an inquiry into controversial claims she made during a TV documentary earlier in the year.

But the two professors who investigated her research were fiercely critical of the conclusions she drew and of her credibility.

In the documentary, Lundgren said that she had received testimony about hundreds of ritual baby murders in Sweden carried out by male Satanist groups. She was also criticised in the summer for claiming that half of all women in Sweden have been subjected to violence by men.

Nevertheless, Berit Hagekull, the head of the Faculty of Social Science in Uppsala, who made the announcement on Thursday, said that Lundgren could not be accused of fabrication.

“Altogether our inquiry has identified several serious problems in Lundgren’s research,” wrote Professor Margareta Hallberg of Gothenburg University, adding that the credibility of Lundgren’s work must be called into question.

The second member of the inquiry was Professor Jörgen Hermansson at the Institute of Political Science at Uppsala University. His conclusion regarding Lundgren’s allegations of ritual child abuse was that “the critical and reflective research role was absent”.

Lundgren later withdrew the claim, attributed to her by the SVT documentary Könskriget (Gender War), of baby murders in Sweden. But even the most central results in the much-discussed report Slagen dam (Beaten Women) are not supported by Lundgren’s and other researchers’ data.

“Lundgren and others claim that they have destroyed the myth that violence against women can be linked to certain groups of men. However, the analysis which led to this conclusion contains several failings, and a re-analysis of the same data shows that the conclusion ought to have been the direct opposite,” wrote Jörgen Hermansson.

While the university acknowledged the failings in Eva Lundgren’s work, it said that it is rather a question for the scientific community.

Eva Lundgren herself welcomed the university’s verdict.

“First, I’m very pleased to have been cleared – that was absolutely the most important thing. Because this inquiry has been about scientific dishonesty, and I’ve been cleared of that. Full stop,” she said to TT.

She added that she was not concerned about the criticism of the failures in her research.

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TT/The Local