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Intellectual Integrity

My Word, My Bond. It is a maxim, the remembered expression of a basic principle and general truth that holds that what your are saying is the truth, and often a binding truth. In 1801 it was the motto of the London Stock Exchange and is now engraved on their Coat of Arms.  It is a standard that underscores the integrity of the casual business hand shake, financial committments, media communications, academic papers and print publications. The New Yorker Editor, David Remnick, stood by this maxim when he accepted the resignation of one of their writers Jonah Lehrer after Lehrer admitted fabricating Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book Imagine: how creativity works.  Remnick is quoted as saying  "This is a terrifically sad situation, but, in the end, what is most important is the integrity of what we publish and what we stand for."

Academics, publishers, writers and reporters are just a few of the members of the community where we not only expect, but demand, to the best of their ability, the highest level of intellectual integrity.  Anything less is hypocrisy and deceit and reflects a blatant disrespect and disregard for everyone touched by the fraud.  Since its release in March, "Imagine" has sold more than 200,000 copies in hardcover and e-books. It held the No. 14 spot on The New York Times hardcover, non-fiction, best-seller list when it was yanked by Lehrer's publisher and made to disappear from bookstore shelves.  That's how creativity works.

Though some may still seek to own a copy of this book as one might desire to own a mis-printed minted coin this book was no misprint.  It was journalistic fraud and it has not only cost Mr. Lehrer his prestigious position with The New Yorker as well as high profile speaking engagements it has negatively touched countless numbers of persons in the media industry, the print industry and the public.  "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be stopping shipments of "Imagine" and taking the e-book off the market while it determines how to handle the book going forward."  And that is a quote you can take to the bank.