A blue-ribbon panel appointed by Stanford University has endorsed the university's decision to expel a student anthropologist from its doctoral program after he was sharply criticized by the Chinese government.
Three leading American scholars said that their investigation of research by Steven W. Mosher revealed "a pattern of dealings that involved deliberate disregard for the law of the host country and the instructions of its officials," as well as a "lack of candor" by the student in dealing with his professors and Stanford investigators.
Mosher, 34, now working on a book in Taiwan, has insisted that the charges were fabricated by his disgruntled ex-wife and by Chinese officials who were upset when he wrote in a Taiwan magazine about forced abortions in the Guangdong provincial commune where he did his 1979-80 research.
The report, released today, was written by Stanford historian Gordon Wright, Stanford psychologist Ernest Hilgard and University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Ward Goodenough. Mosher said he will appeal through the university.
Stanford has declined to detail the charges against Mosher, but scholars have heard unconfirmed reports that Mosher bribed local officials with small appliances and a van, removed and microfilmed sensitive commune documents without permission and tried to smuggle ancient coins and important documents out of the country.
Mosher has denied or rebutted the charges and said that the university is trying to protect his ex-wife, a Chinese-American who has relatives in the village he studied.