How one man got away with mass fraud by saying ‘trust me, it’s science’

Source: NP

When news broke this year that Diederik Stapel, a prominent Dutch social psychologist, was faking his results on dozens of experiments, the fallout was swift, brutal and global.

Science and Nature, the world’s top chroniclers of science, were forced to retract papers that had received wide popular attention, including one that seemed to link messiness with racism, because “disordered contexts (such as litter or a broken-up sidewalk and an abandoned bicycle) indeed promote stereotyping and discrimination.”

As a result, some of Prof. Stapel’s junior colleagues lost their entire publication output; Tilburg University launched a criminal fraud case; Prof. Stapel himself returned his PhD and sought mental health care; and the entire field of social psychology — in which human behaviour is statistically analyzed — fell under a pall of suspicion.

Read More: How one man got away with mass fraud by saying ‘trust me, it’s science’

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