Fearing legal problems, lawmakers quickly passed legislation allowing towns that postponed their elections to ratify the results. In hopes of avoiding future problems, they also created a committee to study who should have the authority to reschedule elections and under what circumstances. That group meets Tuesday and has a deadline of Nov. 1 to make recommendations.
On 7 December, Uppsala University in Sweden released a long-awaited report by its Board for Investigation of Misconduct in Research, which investigated a high-profile paper about the effects of microplastics on fish, published in Science in June 2016. The panel found that the paper's first author, Oona Lönnstedt, committed misconduct by fabricating data in the paper; her lone co-author and supervisor, Peter Eklöv, bears responsibility for the fabrication as well, the board said, but was not guilty of misconduct under the regulations in effect when the paper was published. The investigation, the third and most damning one into case, also found both researchers guilty of misconduct for not obtaining a permit from an ethics review panel for their studies.