Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Another retraction for Diederik Stapel, this one from Dutch drama festival on “truth and reality”

with 10 comments

stapel_npcHere’s a case of art imitating science.

The organizers of a Dutch drama festival have put a halt to a play about the disgraced social psychologist Diederik Stapel, prompting protests from the authors of the skit — one of whom is Stapel himself.

According to an article in NRC Handelsblad:

The Amsterdam Discovery Festival on science and art has canceled at the last minute, the play written by Anton Dautzenberg and former professor Diederik Stapel. Co-sponsor, The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), doesn’t want Stapel, who committed science fraud, to perform at a festival that’s associated with the KNAW.

FICTION FACTORY

The management of the festival, planned for September 26th at the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, contacted Stapel and Dautzenberg 4 months ago with the request to organize a performance of their book and lecture project ‘The Fictionfactory”. Especially for this festival they [Stapel and Dautzenberg] created a ‘Fictionfactory-peepshow’.

“Last Friday I received a call [from the management of the festival] that our performance has been canceled at the last minute because the KNAW will withdraw their subsidy if Stapel is on the festival program”, says Dautzenberg. “This looks like censorship, and by an institution that also wants to represents arts and experiments”.

Alex Verkade, organiser of the Discovery Festival, confirms he had booked Dautzenberg and Stapel and also that he has canceled the play after de KNAW raised objections. “We thought that ‘the Fictionfactory’  would fit in very well with the festival theme ‘truth and reality’, but we completely misjudged the position of the KNAW in this matter.” Diederik Stapel is controversial because he has been found to have committed science fraud in psychology in 2011.

Stapel has had 54 papers retracted from the literature.

Thanks to Vincent Bontrop for translation, and Richard Tol for the tip.

Written by amarcus41

September 16th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Posted in diederik stapel

Comments
  • omnologos September 16, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Hard to see any censorship here. Thousands of plays are performed away from festivals and Stapel can do the same, not at KNAW’s expense.

  • Paul September 17, 2014 at 3:44 am

    The translation of the Dutch newspaper article is not. The play was not “about” Diederik Stapel. The play was about the relation between fact and fiction and why people sometimes prefer the latter above the other. Fiction is often more comforting than the bare facts.

    The organizers of the festival approached Stapel and Dautzenberg to contribute to the festival four months ago. Stapel and Dautzenberg wrote a “performance” especially for this festival, not for other festivals. They have no intention to perform at other festivals. The KNAW overruled the young scientist organizers of the festival by threatening to pull back their money of the festival when Stapel would be part of it. The organizers initially protested because they felt it is important that Stapel and Dautzenberg were willing to open a taboo-free dialogue about fact-fiction-frictions. Now there is no in-depth discussion, no dialogue, no performance.

    Note from Retraction Watch: We’ve had reason to believe that this and several other messages being left by “Paul” were actually posted by Diederik Stapel. Because “Paul” refers to Stapel in the third person, the comments may include a misrepresentation, violating our comment guidelines. We’ve emailed the person who left those messages, and he or she refused to say whether Stapel is leaving the messages. We therefore wanted to post a notice alerting readers to our concerns.

    • Paul September 17, 2014 at 4:18 am

      First sentence shoul read: “The translation of the Dutch newspaper article is not entirely correct.”

      Note from Retraction Watch: We’ve had reason to believe that this and several other messages being left by “Paul” were actually posted by Diederik Stapel. Because “Paul” refers to Stapel in the third person, the comments may include a misrepresentation, violating our comment guidelines. We’ve emailed the person who left those messages, and he or she refused to say whether Stapel is leaving the messages. We therefore wanted to post a notice alerting readers to our concerns.

    • The cat September 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Dautzenberg and Stapel DO have the intention to perform at other festivals. They have – in vain – tried to sell their performances to a large number of theaters. They have also started a business to support their stage/writing activities.

  • PJTV September 18, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Censorship should not be done, and definitely not by financial means. However, an other issue is, whether he was going to be paid for the ‘performance’ (as ‘The cat’ implied). It appears unethical to earn with selling your experience about malpractice.

  • Neuroskeptic (@Neuro_Skeptic) September 18, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Stapel should agree to withdraw from the performance, replaced by an actor. But then when the show begins, the “actor” will turn out to be Stapel in a mask. That would be fitting I think.

    • CVDolan September 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      That would be good! An idea worth stealing, given you have no scruples (…DS go for it!).

  • Josh Nicholson (@thewinnower) September 22, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    This is an interesting story. We paid Diederik Stapel a small fee for his piece at The Winnower (https://thewinnower.com/discussions/trying-to-fix-it). Would be interesting to know how much various scientists have made off their infamy.

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