Diederik stapel on TEDx Maastricht BrainTrain

I am a frequent reader of the retraction watch blog. Today they’ve put up a video from a TEDx event called, TEDxbraintrain. From their website:

“TEDx BrainTrain is a side event of TEDx Maastricht and is organised in collaboration with Dutch Railways and the SocialCoupé. In the intercity train between Maastricht and Amsterdam Central Station, inspiring talks by interesting speakers will be held in the same way as the main TEDx Maastricht event in the theatre at the Vrijthof”

Interestingly, one of the speakers is Diederick Stapel, a former clinical social psychology researcher with so far 54 retracted publications. The speech is quite similar to his book, which i’ve read out of interest in his part of the story: it sounds nice, but I don’t really understand what the message is. What struck me most is the part where he describes why he “invented research data and blew up his career as a scientist”:

“I became detached from myself (…) I lost my passion and desires… my personal goals became less important than my professional goals, and my professional goals completely overtook me”

This sounds weird to me…is good research practice not a ‘professional goal’? I am lost with this guy…

Edit: on the LUMC PhD-day, a day long PhD fun organised by the VAO, I will give an interactive workshop (together with TdC) on scientific integrity to the PhD students of the LUMC. This workshop is titles “How NOT to become the next Diederick Stapel”. Lesson 1: don’t think that inventing research data to get published is the right way to adhere to your professional goals!

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