A top social scientist, Diederik Stapel, of Tilburg University, has been suspended after an investigation showed that he’s been fabricating his data for years. This may seem far away and esoteric in the extreme, but there’s collateral damage here in DC, home base of the AAAS journal Science, which published one of Diederik Stapel’s papers in April.
That paper, “Coping With Chaos: How Disordered Contexts Promote Stereotypying and Discrimination,” claimed that people were more likely to be prejudicial toward others when in the presence of litter, a broken sidewalk, an abandoned bicycle, etc.
“Many of Stapel’s students graduated without having ever run an experiment, the report says. Stapel told them that their time was better spent analyzing data and writing. The commission writes that Stapel was ’lord of the data’ in his collaborations. It says colleagues or students who asked to see raw data were given excuses or even threatened and insulted.”
The journal’s editor-in-chief, Bruce Alberts, issued a brief statement today, called an “Editorial Expression of Concern,” in which he noted the findings released Monday by the Dutch investigators. He said the report “indicates that the extent of the fraud by Stapel is substantial.”
Should the journal Science have known that this was a bogus paper? There’s a peer review process, but it’s one that isn’t designed to detect outright, bald-faced fraud.
Wren said today, “Science is not an investigative body, and so if a scientist is intentionally trying to deceive, the peer review system is not really set up to investigate that sort of thing.”
How many others like Stapel are out there fabricating data? The world may never know. It's one reason why experiments are repeated, to detect fraud. Note however, that Stapel's research is 'social science' or liberal-hope science supporting bitterness studies. If the data doesn't exist, then just invent it? Liberals don't care about facts, its a religion.