A correspondent writes:
A brief update on the Stapel scandal. It seems that the Dutch universities involved were really determined to get to the bottom of this. A first part of the outcomes of the investigations are online (in English). Several “commissions” or “committees” (I guess no proper English but this is the way scandals are sorted out in Dutch politics too) were established to investigate the matter.
The first commission to report is the commissie Levelt: https://www.commissielevelt.nl/
The most interesting part is this I guess: https://www.commissielevelt.nl/levelt-committee/fraud-determined/
This concerns only the articles investigated by that commission. The others (Noort and Drenth) are expected to report in the coming months.
I [the correspondent] feel sorry for Stapel, but the amount of fraud is sizeable. I like the way the universities handle this—especially that they are fairly transparent.
Interesting. This all seems like overkill given how obvious the fraud is, but given what happened with comparable cases in the U.S., I suppose this “Powell doctrine” approach (overwhelming force) is probably the best way to go. If someone wants to argue that the plagiarism of an Ed Wegman or a Frank Fischer or a Laurence Tribe is acceptable behavior or that it is a minor infraction compared to their great contributions to the world, go for it. But it’s good to have a simple finding of fact, as they did in the Netherlands. Too bad it had to take so many people’s time. We can add that to the social cost of Stapel’s fraud.
Some commenters wonder why I keep bringing up these cases. One reason is that they never seem to be resolved, so it seems good to keep the reminder that these actions have occurred and that the perpetrators remain in place. At least Quentin Rowan admitted it (sort of). Some of the others out there seem to be taking the Chris Rock approach.