We may not have captured this completely in our coverage, but the brouhaha over the political science research project gone so wrong in Montana (and now in California) has been a very big deal in political science circles since the news broke late last week. I know some readers will be amused that anything could be buzzy in the cloistered poli sci world. But this has really captured the attention of everyone in the profession, and reignited some long running debates about field research, the proper ethical lines to draw during research, and a host of related issues.
We've mostly avoided going too far into that part of the story because, let's face it, poli sci research dos and don'ts are pretty damn weedy and matter only to those who do it for a living. But TPM Reader Dan Carpenter, a professor of government at Harvard, wrote in with his insights on the mess, and I think it gives you a good sense of how big a deal some of these issues are within the academy and why this episode has received so much attention. And it's just plain thoughtful and interesting. Here's Carpenter:
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