News - December 1, 2011


My daughter asked me this week if I would fill in a few questionnaires for her.

They were part of her homework: 10 sides of A4, each containing 10 multiple choice questions about the impact of the euro crisis. She didn't fancy going from door to door in the dark on her own, and she had to bring back the completed forms the next day. It didn't take me long to make up my mind... Fraud. And I have been known to put someone else's initials on the bottom of some vague form or other which would undoubtedly never be looked at again... Fraud. But I could not conceive of making up a non-existent plant in the course of describing some vegetation. Absolutely out of the question!
What on earth possessed Diederik Stapel to commit fraud on such a large scale over so many years, when his academic reputation was already secured and he was widely respected? He could not withstand the pressure to score, the pressure to go on getting better and better, wrote Stapel in an open letter. In the same letter he also writes that he will have to dig deep to understand why all this happened. Of course I have no idea why Diederik did what he did. I feel sorry for him really. On a website for Sinterklaas ‘surprises' (funny or trick presents) I came across a pen with ‘magic' ink that disappears shortly after you have written with it. Pity no one gave Diederik Stapel a pen like that to write his articles with.