Empathy expert resigns after report confirms bullying allegations

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http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/e...s-bullying

EXCERPT: Empathy expert Tania Singer will resign as director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, after a commission confirmed allegations of bullying made by several members of the institute.

“[S]ignificant failures in leadership had occurred” at the institute, the Max Planck Society said in a statement released yesterday. “In order to avoid a further escalation of the situation and to enable all parties involved to return to focused scientific work, the Max Planck Society and Ms. Singer have agreed that she will step down from her position as Director on her own initiative.” The neuroscientist “will continue her work as a scientific researcher, on a smaller scale, without a management function outside the Leipzig Institute,” the statement noted.

Singer apologized “for the mistakes I made as a young director of a big Max Planck Department” in a letter to her former lab members. “My psychological and physical resources are exhausted and my reputation and my scientific career are severely damaged,” she wrote.

In August, Science reported that a number of researchers at the institute had leveled complaints against Singer, including allegations that she had created an “atmosphere of fear” in the workplace, and mistreated female employees who became pregnant. All but one of the researchers asked to remain anonymous because they feared for their careers...

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