Dear Diary

Former academic Diederik Stapel was caught out faking research and now he is publishing his diaries. Hanneke Sanou has her own ideas about the contents:

Busy day. Am trying to prove pigs might fly but having trouble. First off, only four pigs turned up. Still, when pushed from a very great height one or two stayed in the air for at least 2 seconds and that’s good enough for me. Am keeping my eye on young student who seemed not to approve of my methods. Invited him for a drink in my office.

Papers on the phone about pig research. They all want interviews as I knew they would. Made sure I was talking to one on the phone when student came in. He was suitably impressed. I don’t think I will have any trouble with him: at Tilburg University we are quirky, unorthodox, creative, I told him. And if we are not we might not be able to graduate. He seemed convinced. I haven’t lost my touch.

I have been found out. The cat is out of the bag. My pig research has been deemed sloppy science! I blame that student. Levelt and Eijlander are investigating. Clearly meat eaters, the both of them. This is the end, of course. I will lose my job. Spent hours trying to perfect a suitably contrite look. Haven’t decided yet to plead insanity or stress. Stress, I think.

I didn’t sleep a wink last night but at last I have my story straight: will tell them everything just went crazier and faster and weirder. Give them an image of a man seduced by fame, helpless in the maelstrom of academic success, in short a human being with faults, like everybody else. Don’t think Levelt will believe me but the papers will print it anyway.

Have decided not to talk to the media. Keep them intrigued. Am writing another diary. I already have a publisher. I think it will turn out to be my best work yet.


Hanneke Sanou is a freelance writer and translator and contributes to

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