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Fools and Frauds in Science!

SUMMER 2013

The Biannual Magazine of LEO The Leiden PhD Association


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From The Editor Dear member of LEO,

contents

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I hope you are reading this on a sunny summer afternoon at one of Leiden’s many excellent cafés, enjoying a drink and maybe even a bitterbal. Or better yet, maybe you are on holiday at some exotic location, unwinding after months of hard work. Perhaps more likely, in true PhD candidate style, you are actually still hard at work trying to get that one last paper published. In which case I wish you all the rain, cold and clouds that a Dutch summer has to offer, so staying indoors won’t feel so bad. Whatever the case, welcome to the Summer 2013 edition of Thesis: Fools and Frauds in Science!

From Zero...

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…to Hero!

The topic of this edition ‘Fools and Frauds in Science’, was partly inspired by our infamous Dutch celebrity: Diederik Stapel, for helpfully demonstrating that results which seem too good to be true, usually are exactly that. In this edition we take up the torch, to shed some light on other fools and frauds in science, with our Feature articles.

If all this scientific tomfoolery has brought you down too much, please read on to another edition of From Zero.. To Hero, to remember that it is in fact possible to finish your PhD. Or, read our restaurant review to get to know the best places to relax and enjoy a bittergarnituur. We conclude this Summer 2013 edition with an empathetic salmon, in Weird Science, and a poem by a fellow LEO member. Have a good read and see you at the next PhDrinks! Kerwin Olfers

Who is Who?

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We are proud to present Thesis in a slightly new format. For one, the pdf is now hosted on isuu.nl which allows for an easier read, and the bonus of clickable links. Furthermore you will find Thesis divided into three color coded sections: the Editorials in blue, the topic specific Feature articles in green and the recurring PhD-Life articles in red. So should you ever lose yourself while reading, just follow the color to your next preferred article.

Jacqueline Goos and Patrick Tuijp of the PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands (PNN) alert us to the possible foolishness of the bursary PhD system, which is now being introduced by several universities. Cathelijn Waaijer interviews three experts on the dangers of predatory open access journals, to teach you where not to publish your first (or second) paper. Pepijn van Erp, a writer for Skepsis (a Dutch organization promoting skeptical thinking in and outside of science), shows us the ‘true’ power of the perpetuum mobile, and offers a good example of the kind of ‘scientist’ you should not become. Dr. Magnus Palmblad demonstrates how frauds can steal credibility by abusing the reputations of respected universities. And finally, Manja Koenders asks if moderns scientists will be remembered as the alchemists of our time, and whether that is actually a bad thing.

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A Word From the New Board Searching for Free Energy Open Access and the Predatory Threat The Bursary PhD System; Fool’s gold?! Credibility Theft Are Today’s Scientists Tomorrow’s Fools? Restaurant Review: Secrets of the Bittergarnituur LEO Social Events Weird Science

Colophon Edited by Kerwin Olfers Lay-out and print: Optima Grafische Communicatie, Rotterdam THESIS is the biannual publication of Leids Promovendi Overleg (LEO), the PhD Association of the University of Leiden www.leoleiden.nl info@leoleiden.nl

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Who is Who

Bernadet Klaassens Chair

Roy de Kleijn Vice-chair, treasurer and webmaster

Manja Koenders Secretary

My name is Bernadet Klaassens, I work as a PhD candidate for the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC) at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR). My background is Neuropsychology and Statistics and in the upcoming years I will be investigating the influence of medication on brain activity in dementia patients as measured with fMRI. But enough about research... As the LEO chair for 2013, I make sure that the board functions properly, everybody does what they are supposed to do, and help the board members out whenever necessary. As LEO continues to grow, I hope we can make this year the best LEO year ever!

Dear Leiden PhD candidates! Let me introduce myself. My name is Roy de Kleijn, and I’m doing my PhD as part of an international project on “experience-based cognitive robots that learn complex everyday manipulation tasks”. More specifically, I provide psychological solutions for robot-control problems. For LEO, I function as vice-chair, treasurer and webmaster. This means I will replace Bernadet Klaassens if necessary, keep an eye on the budget and try to keep the website updated. And of course, like the rest of the board, I hope to make 2013 a successful LEO year!

I am Manja Koenders and I am working at Psyq Leiden as a clinical psychologist and as a so called ‘buiten promovendus’ or external PhD. Half of my time I give psychotherapy to patients at the department of mood disorders and the other half of the time I am working on my PhD research for which I study possible predictors of the bipolar disease course. For LEO I am the secretary of 2013. Besides writing the minutes of our board meetings, I also aim to frequently write a newsletter to inform the members about upcoming (LEO) events and PhD related topics. I hope that 2013 will be a successful year for all our LEO members!

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Klodiana Daphne Tona Social events officer

Cathelijn Waaijer External events officer

Kerwin Olfers Thesis editor

My name is Klodiana-Daphne Tona and I am a Phd candidate at the department of Cognitive Psychology and the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC). I hold a degree in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. For my research, I will investigate cognition and the underlying neuronal mechanisms by integrating methods of cognitive neuroimaging, psychophysiology and pharmacology in healthy and clinical populations. For LEO, I’m the Social Events Officer, therefore responsible for organizing all the social and professional activities that LEO will offer this year to the Phd members. Joining these activities will give you the opportunity to broaden your horizons, participate in networking events, meet fellow PhD candidates from other fields, get some inside hints on academic life and the working environment in Leiden, and many more. Above all, when you find yourself lost under a pile of articles or a huge amount of data, these events will always be there to remind you that research is fun! I hope you will enjoy the events that we will organize this year!

My name is Cathelijn Waaijer, and I’m a PhD candidate at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS). My work focuses on science policy, and specifically how the scientific career system should be structured to make scientific research run as efficiently as possible. I will be the External Events Officer on the LEO board, which means my job is to represent LEO and its members to the outside world, for example at meetings of the national PhD association (PNN). I’m going to work hard to make 2013 a good year for LEO and hope to see you at the social events!

Hi there! My name is Kerwin Olfers and I am a PhD candidate at the Cognitive Psychology unit, where I started in September 2012. My research focuses on the possibilities of video games for cognitive enhancement, that is, can playing certain games make you smarter, better or faster? To investigate this we use behavioral measures, neurophysiological measures (such as EEG) and modelling approaches. For LEO, I’ll be the Thesis Editor this year. Thesis Editor is a new position in LEO and it basically means I’m responsible for the publication of our half-yearly digital magazine Thesis. So, if you feel like writing a piece, whether it is about your research, your experiences as a PhD-candidate, social or cultural events in Leiden, or pretty much anything else, don’t hesitate to contact me through the LEO mail info@ leoleiden.nl!

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LEO 2013

A Word From the New Board

The LEO year 2013 is up and running: a new board, new plans and activities, and hopefully a lot of new members! Every year, the LEO board works hard to optimize its activities for Leiden PhD candidates. And of course the current board will continue doing this with unlimited enthusiasm, in order to make 2013 another successful LEO year. In this first edition of Thesis we, the LEO board, would like to introduce ourselves to all of the members and let you know what we’ve been up to so far and what our plans are for the upcoming months. LEO’s main goal is to give Leiden PhD candidates the opportunity to meet and learn from each other on both a social and a professional level. Therefore, we hope to meet you all at our monthly PhDrinks every third or fourth Friday of the month at café ‘t Keizertje, as well as during the other social activities that we organize, like Karaoke night, a movie night and a BBQ in the summer. Besides LEO there are more active PhD organizations in and outside of Leiden and we feel that cooperating with these groups could lead to even more great experiences. Until now, we’ve worked together with PromooD, the Delft PhD association, by organizing a Rock’n Roll workshop and spring party, and with the Science group of Leiden University by having a pubquiz at their faculty. We strive towards more joint activities during the rest of the year. To check out some of our plans for future events, see our

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events schedule in this Thesis and take a look on our website or Facebook group regularly. But there is more in PhD life than drinks and fun! To keep you informed about PhD related matters on a national level, like the possible implementation of the bursary system, we invited PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands (PNN) to Leiden to give a presentation about their plans, projects and responsibilities. For the ones who missed this event, please see PNN’s article in this Thesis. We are also very proud to provide you with the results of the survey that was sent out by LEO last year. About 250 PhD candidates answered our questions on work circumstances and satisfaction. The data will be analysed this year and in the next Thesis issue the results of these analyses will be presented to all of you. For now, please enjoy our Thesis summer edition, full of articles and information concerning science and PhD life. And if you know any PhD colleagues who aren’t LEO members yet, do not hesitate to forward this magazine or our monthly newsletter to introduce them to LEO! Every Leiden PhD candidate is welcome to register as a member (for free) on our website www. leoleiden.nl and to join our Facebook group to stay informed about the activities that we organize and to get in touch with the board and other LEO members. The more LEO members there are, the more influence LEO has on decisions by the university and the more fun our events will be! Best, Bernadet Klaassens On behalf of the LEO board 2013, Roy de Kleijn Manja Koenders Klodiana-Daphne Tona Cathelijn Waaijer Kerwin Olfers


Searching for By Pepijn van Erp

Free Energy

You might think that, in these modern days, claims of cheap and simply ways to deliver unlimited energy would not be taken seriously. Inventors who come up with these so-called perpetuum mobiles are something from a distance past. Or are they? Recently I became interested in the developing story of such a Free Energy machine, which is supposed to run indefinitely on the power of magnets alone. This magnet motor is invented by a Turkish former policeman named Muammer Yildiz. In 2009 and 2010 he presented his motor at the Eindhoven and Delft Universities of Technology. You can find videos of these demonstrations on YouTube. It’s quite interesting to think about whether scientists should take these kind of claims seriously, as we are well aware of the physical (im)possibilities which seem to be set upon us by the Laws of Thermodynamics. Isn’t far more likely that such a machine is a (clever) hoax than a scientific breakthrough? The idea that this is indeed just another hoax is strengthened by the secrecy the inventors generally hold up protecting their invention; afraid, as they claim to be, that someone else runs away with their idea. This secrecy does not entice scientists to give their opinion on the machine, however some of them take Yildiz’s apparatus very seriously and even seem to promote it as real. An important question to answer if you believe it to be a hoax is: what is the perpetrator trying to accomplish? Yildiz for instance has been working on his magnet motor for more than a decade and he doesn’t seem to be in it to quickly make a lot of money and disappear (as others have tried before him). On the other hand he must have investors who support him, also financially, and what does he tell them? I think a story of more than a century ago might shed some light on what might be going on. In 1872 John Worral Keely announced that he had discovered a

Yildiz demonstrating his magnet motor

new principle for power production. He claimed to be able to ‘tap etheric energy’, a ‘latent force’ of nature and ‘the vibratory energy of the ether” as he described it himself. Keely built a generator in his house, which he demonstrated regularly, a complicated ‘hydropneumatic pulsating vacuo-engine’. During these demonstrations Keely blew into a nozzle for half a minute and then poured five gallons of water into the same nozzle. After some fine adjustments a pressure gage indicated pressures of 10,000 pounds per square inch inside the device. This, said Keely, was evidence that the water had been disintegrated and a mysterious vapor had been liberated in the generator, capable of powering machinery. Keely managed to attract some investors for his company, which was supposed to bring this machine to the market. To the frustration of his investors this never happened. Luckily Keely managed to find a wealthy widow who was willing to

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support him for rest of his life, although in the end she cut his allowance, as she was also losing faith in his inventions as marketable products. When Keely died in 1898 his secret came to light: his etheric generator on the second floor of his house was in fact powered by an engine in the basement. False ceilings and floors on the first floor were found to hide mechanical belts and linkages to the silent water motor. A system of pneumatic switches under the floor boards could be used to turn the machinery on and off. Keely had managed to acquire a good income throughout his career keeping up the appearance of genuine inventor. I wonder whether we encounter a similar scenario in the case of the Yildiz motor. So far things are running along the same lines. In January this year a 30 day test of his engine was planned at a European university, which was willing to test his device. The test was cancelled just a few days before it would start, because the unnamed university was setting more extraordinary conditions, according to Yildiz. As an alternative he would be demonstrating his device at an Expo in Geneva in April. He did. The motor ran for four and a half hours and then ... there were problems. The planned continuous run of five days had to be stopped and was replaced by short demonstrations of switching the motor on, letting it run for a couple of minutes and shutting it down again. Not very convincing to a sceptical mind, but surprisingly enough some of the early believers think it clearly shows Yildiz is on the right track. The Yildiz story is not over yet.

About the author. Pepijn van Erp is a mathematician and boardmember of Skepsis, the Dutch Skeptics foundation, founded in 1987 like several skeptic organisations in Europe on instigation of CSICOP, the US based Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (now CSI). Skepsis aims to put extraordinary claims to critical assessment. In many cases these claims are not based on sound evidence or fail when tested properly. Amongst the members of our Advisory Committee are notable scientists like Nobelprize winner Prof. dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft and Spinoza Prize winner Prof. dr. Ed van den Heuvel. Current president of Skepsis is Prof. dr. Frank Israel from Leiden University. Amongst the activities Skepsis carries out are publishing a magazine, Skepter, which comes out at least twice a year, and organizing a yearly congres. Articles for Skepter and the websites of Skepsis are written by scientists, journalists and other skeptics who take the effort to delve into subjects which are generally left behind by scientists in their regular work. Subjects which pass frequently are alternative medicine, UFO’s, conspiracy theories, sects and paranormal activities. More information: Yildiz Magnet Motor (Dutch): http://kloptdatwel.nl/2013/03/15/ontwikkelingen-rondmagneetmotor-van-yildiz/ John Worral Keely: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/keely/keely. htm Skepsis website: http://www.skepsis.nl/ Klopt dat wel?: http://kloptdatwel.nl/ Pepijn van Erp: http://www.pepijnvanerp.nl/

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Open Access and the Predatory Threat By Cathelijn Waaijer

What are predatory open access publishers and how do they Work? In traditional scientific publishing, readers (or their universities) have to pay for a subscription to scientific journals. Conversely, open access publishing works by having authors pay a fee to have their paper freely available in a journal for the public to read. This fee is used to cover the costs of a high-quality peer review (while preferably also providing the publisher with a profit).

A “Call for Editorial Board Members, Reviewers and Papers” from the Science Publishing Group or a “Call for Papers: Special Issue ‘Metrics in Publishing’” from Wanda Gruetter are just two of the tens of emails Thed van Leeuwen (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University) receives each week that invite him to submit a paper to a journal or conference. When one looks into these publishers a little bit more, their websites often appear to be quite amateurish, their command of English to be not very good, and their names sometimes to bear a striking resemblance to well-known publishers (Science Publishing Group seems to be a contraction of the journal Science and the Nature Publishing Group, whereas the name Wanda Gruetter is highly similar to the publisher Walter de Gruyter). All of these publishers indicate the articles they publish are open access. In fact, these are instances of “predatory” open access (predatory OA) publishers. To find out the effects of predatory OA on scientific publishing and research, we have interviewed an expert on predatory publishing, a publisher responsible for open access at Oxford University Press, and a researcher from the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) who inadvertently ran into a predatory OA publisher when publishing a paper.

Predatory publishers take advantage of open access by publishing papers after light or no peer review, while still incurring author fees. Deceit about the amount of fees authors have to pay is not uncommon. Jeffrey Beall, a university librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, runs a blog about the phenomenon and manages a list of publishers he considers predatory. He describes a typical example of the mode of operation of these publishers: “A few publishers have discovered a very successful strategy for getting authors to submit manuscripts: personalized spam. To do this, they examine papers already published by other publishers. Next they compose an email to the first author, praising the earlier article and inviting them to submit another manuscript on the same topic. In this email the article processing charge is usually not mentioned. This strategy is very, very effective.” This is a strategy Rhodri Jackson, senior publisher Law Journals and Oxford Open at Oxford University Press, is familiar with. “I had the case with one of my law journals a couple of years ago. Every author who’d published in that journal got an email from a publisher, and that publisher had basically harvested the emails of our authors from the website. They sent [an email] that […] had the details of the journal their paper was published in, the title of the paper, and their

Jeffrey Beall: Author of Beall’s List of Predatory Open Access Publishers Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 9


email address. They said in the email that my journal had passed their information to them and that now, they could also publish in their journal for a small fee. Obviously, we never would have passed their details onto another journal to publish in that journal as well. They were using our journal’s good name to instantly give themselves credibility without our permission.” Recognizing predatory publishers So how to recognize predatory publishers? Jeffrey Beall: “First, consult my lists. Consult with senior colleagues who are familiar with the best and worst journals in a given field. Examine articles previously published by the publisher and judge their quality. Ask yourself whether you would want your article to appear alongside one of those articles. Look for any practices that seem non-standard or that show any attempt at being non-transparent or deceptive. Does the publisher lie about or hide its location? Does the publisher clearly state its author fees? Does it use spam or personalized spam to solicit editorial board memberships and manuscripts?” Rhodri Jackson suggests looking at the website of the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA), of which he is a board member: “[To the best of my knowledge], all of the significant good open access publishers are OASPA members.” He also suggests looking at the editorial board and checking the quality of the website to make sure the publisher looks legitimate.

These last two suggestions alone are not a foolproof method. A researcher from the Leiden University Medical Centre once published an article in a journal of a publisher that appears on Jeffrey Beall’s list of predatory publishers. “We found this journal by googling for journals with names that relate to our field and by the name of the journal it was a very appropriate choice for this particular manuscript. Then we looked at the website. It was not overly convincing, but it was not a particularly novel manuscript, so we were just happy to have it published somewhere. […] Then we looked at the editorial board of this particular journal and it was quite impressive. […] That was the key factor that convinced us that this is a proper journal, because the editorial board was well-composed, covering all the different expertises in the field. […] We had only one peer review. […] It was not the most thorough review that we’ve ever had, but at least they had read the manuscript and seemed to understand the content […].” Only after the manuscript had been accepted and the handling of the manuscript was transferred from the editor to the publisher did he notice something was amiss. “The publisher was very insistent on getting the payment. I think we received three reminders within a week or so, even though I had already asked our financial manager to transfer the money for the open access. That was different from all the other [open access] journals we’ve published in […]. They are usually not [that] aggressive. […] That was the point where we realized something was a little bit

Credit: “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham, www.phdcomics.com

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Rhodri Jackson: Publsiher at Oxford Journals

different and that this publisher is clearly in the business to make money. It’s also clear from the very wide range of journals they have and [the fact that] many of them have very few and irregular publications. So in retrospect, it’s likely that this journal can be classified as a predatory journal.” Does the researcher regret publishing a paper in this journal? “No, it’s a good experience and now we know what we talk about when we talk about predatory open access journals. So no, I don’t regret it and […] there are many other good groups that have also published in the same journal, including the groups from the people in the editorial board.” Effect on open access publishing and research The emergence of predatory open access publishers raises the question whether these publishers are damaging open access publishing in general. Rhodri Jackson: “Less so now than it was ten years ago, or five years ago even. I think in what you might call the traditional publishing industry you have all of the major publishers, like Elsevier, Springer and Wiley quite prominently also publishing open access now. […] You also have open access being mandated by government funding bodies in the UK, so open access is pretty established now. While they’re certainly not a good thing, I can’t see [predatory open access publishers] being that damaging to the development anymore.” The LUMC researcher agrees that predatory publishers are not damaging to established publishers and journals, but thinks they are to new open access journals ‘with good intentions’: “Especially […] the new open access journals [are struggling] to advertise, because if they advertise too much, they will be suspected of being predatory, so that makes their job much more difficult, I think.” Jeffrey Beall takes a much harder stance on the vitality of open access publishing: “The [author-pays, open-access] model carries a built-in conflict of interest, for the more papers a publishing company accepts, the more money it makes. The author-pays, open-access model was never a good idea in the first place because it doesn’t work well in all disciplines, threatens scholarly societies in the social sciences and humanities, and creates the consequence of predatory publishers appearing and exploiting the model so prolifically. Not only has predatory publishing damaged open-access publishing, it has also damaged online publishing in general.” Beall also sees a danger for science itself due to “the high amount of author misconduct, such as plagiarism”

in predatory journals and the fact many of these journals “perform a fake, insufficient, or non-existent peer review, much nonscience is being published bearing science’s seal of approval. This is problematic because science is cumulative - new research builds on published research. We are seeing predatory journals being cited in respectable journals, but the predatory journals may not have conducted a valid peer review.” He concludes by saying: “This will certainly have a very negative effect on research.” An interesting question is whether open access publishing will continue to exist as an important method of scholarly communication, be changed back to a subscription-based model, or even be replaced by a new method of knowledge dissemination. Beall: “The market will ultimately determine which model is successful. I think the successful model will be one that focuses on readers rather than authors, for readers are the true consumers of research.”

More information Jeffrey Beall’s blog: http://scholarlyoa.com/ Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association: http://oaspa.org/ Guidelines to open access publishing from the Leiden University Library: http://library.leiden.edu/education-research/copyrightinformation-office/authors/publishers-and-open-access. html

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The Bursary PhD System; By Jacqueline Goos (general board member PNN) en Patrick Tuijp (chairman PNN)

The PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands

(Promovendi Netwerk Nederland, abbreviated to PNN) is the national organization that represents the interests of PhD candidates who work at one of the 14 Dutch universities, at one of the 8 University Medical Centers, or at one of the 5 research centers. One of the main issues that the PNN focuses on is the bursary PhD system. In this system, PhD candidates are no longer employees of the university. Instead, they are qualified and registered as students, socalled ‘promotiestudenten’. For this category of PhD candidates, a work station, collective health insurances, unemployment benefits, pension benefits, sick leave, and pregnancy leave are no longer guaranteed. Unlike the employee PhDs, the bursary PhDs are not allowed to perform any teaching duties. This means that they not only miss out on this opportunity to build their transferable skills, such as presentation and communication skills, but they also lack relevant experience on their CV. This experience matters when they apply for a position as assistant professor, but also when they aim for a career in the private sector. Several Dutch universities, VSNU and even OCW (the ministry of Education) state that the bursary system is an improvement because the bursary PhDs have a much larger degree of independence and more freedom to select their PhD topic. They want the bursary PhD position to coexist with the standard employee PhD positions. However, the PNN feels that the arguments in favor of the bursary system are not convincing enough to warrant the creation of bursary PhD positions. Especially since the freedom to choose your PhD topic depends greatly on the research interests of your supervisor, on the research agenda of the department, and (if applicable) on the project that your PhD is part of.

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Fool’s Gold?! The Dutch system with employee PhDs has been named as exemplary within Europe by Eurodoc (the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers). This leading position is based on statements from the European Commission (in the European Charter for Researchers) and the European University Association (in the Salzburg II recommendations) that PhD candidates are early stage researchers and hence should be viewed as professionals, employed at the university with commensurate working conditions and terms of employment. The appointment of PhD candidates as students would therefore lead to a deterioration in value and quality of the Dutch system. Fortunately, the Council of State also feared for the quality of Dutch research and for the career perspectives of PhD candidates. Therefore, they advised against the creation of student PhD positions and suggested to experiment with the bursary system only on a limited scale. Following this negative advice from the Council of State, Minister Bussemaker of Education, Culture, and Science has recently removed the possibility to appoint bursary PhDs from a proposed amendment to the Higher Education and Research Act. Despite this, Dutch universities have tried to implement the bursary system several times. This has repeatedly led to legal actions by the involved PhD candidates and the labor union. In cases against the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University, the rulings were always in favor of the PhDs, reaffirming their position as employees of the university. Unfortunately, just recently a judge has ruled that bursary PhD candidates are students in the appeal case of the University of Groningen.

universities. The lower costs would also allow greater number of PhD appointments, which in turn are eligible for the 91,000 euro graduation bonus received by the universities for completed promotions. But the PNN fears that due to exactly this financial incentive, bursary PhD positions will crowd out the employee PhD positions, making the choice to start a PhD trajectory less attractive. In addition to the bursary system, the PNN also focuses on the career perspectives of PhD candidates through the Professional PhD program (PPP). According to data published by Statistics Netherlands, about 80% of PhD graduates in the Netherlands will be employed outside academia. Many PhD candidates seem unaware of this, as they aim at an academic career path, while at the same time possible (nonacademic) employers seem to be unaware of the skills and abilities of PhD candidates. To increase awareness among PhD candidates and possible employers, the PNN has recently launched the PPP. The PPP provides PhD candidates with the chance to gain experience outside academia during their PhD trajectory. The participants will work at a company or public organization for a couple of months on a project suitable for PhD candidates. A golden opportunity to upgrade your CV! For more information please visit our website: www.hetpnn.nl. As a representative body, the PNN exists to help PhD candidates with all kinds of issues, ranging from supervision, to appointments, to scientific integrity. Should you have any questions or problems, feel free to contact us at info@hetpnn.nl.

Of course, the PNN notes that the appointment of PhD candidates as students is financially attractive to

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Credibility Theft By Dr. Magnus Palmblad

Science is undeniably one of the greatest human endeavors. We have traced the 13.8-billion year history of our universe, discovered the intricate nature of matter, decoded our genome and developed treatments for previously incurable diseases, doubling global average life expectancy and allowing us to live healthier and more productive lives than ever before in human history. The scientific method and its empiricism, intellectual honesty and transparency have been key to the success of science, allowing nature to be the final arbiter. While it can hardly be overstated that there are no authorities in science (except nature), there are scientific experts recognized within and across disciplines. For academics outside a particular field, as well as the general public, it is of course not always practical or even possible to fully investigate the evidence behind every new claim gaining our attention. Instead we ask ourselves who make the claim, what their credentials are, and if the results have held up to peer-review or have been replicated in another laboratory. Academic institutions – particularly established universities and major research institutes – have over the years built up substantial “credibility capital”. The public trust in these institutions enables outreach efforts and popular education promoting the awareness and understanding of science. While the self-correction mechanisms integral to the scientific method largely work, especially over longer periods of time, there are constant challenges and too frequent cases of academic misconduct. These are often isolated, and affect primarily the credibility of the individual researcher or research group rather than the entire institution or academic field. When the misconduct is perceived as symptomatic of problems at a particular institution or in an entire discipline, such as the recent cases of Stapel and Smeesters in social psychology, the credibility of the entire field or institution suffers. Watchfulness and active measures rather than laxness and passivity are required to guard

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 14

against academic misconduct and other behavior that threaten the credibility of our institutions while maintaining academic freedom and open discourse. But there are also other ways in which the reputation of an institution can suffer, for example from credibility thefts for ideological or religious reasons, or for financial gain. Credibility theft by non-scientific organizations There are unfortunately individuals, groups and organizations who hold agendas diametrically opposed to the core values of our universities – and often quite openly so: groups that do not aspire to intellectual honesty or even hold a basic respect for fellow human beings, groups that are not above “borrowing” and using the recognition and credibility of universities for propaganda purposes. A basic awareness of the existence of these groups is necessary for the promotion of a healthy intellectual discourse and maintenance of an informed citizenry as well as to defend the core values and hard-earned reputations of academic institutions. Well-known examples (or at least what ought to be such) of individuals, groups and organizations are the adherents to various ideologically or religiously motivated pseudosciences, particularly


nefarious denialists or negationists such as creationists actively attempting to undermine science education, genocide deniers, and climate change deniers threatening the quality of life for future generations. As these groups are often extremely adept at displaying a front which at a cursory glance may look intellectually respectable, our awareness should extend to cover at least their most common disguises. Most of us probably take for granted that representatives of such groups would never be invited or allowed to lecture at the University, not under any circumstances or at the very least not without context or critical rebuttal. Our reason for this would not be to suppress freedom of speech, as far as this extends under the law, but to disallow these individuals, groups or organizations to publicly lecture at a recognized university and use this opportunity for propaganda purposes. For creationists, or for that matter Holocaust deniers, such invitations or lectures – even a single lecture – are propaganda gold. We would do well not to be so naïve as to think these groups and organizations would not make claims to the effect that having been “invited” to lecture at a well-known university, even if only allowed to rent a lecture room in a university building, somehow proves there is academic debate on whether evolution or the genocide actually happened, or that climate change is happening. (As a side note, there are significant legal and probably moral distinctions between Holocaust or genocide denial and creationism, but I will not go into

these here, save to emphasize that there also are many parallels between these and other denialist movements and no association fallacy to consider them similarly.) Given the fanaticism and resources these groups possess, particularly time and volunteers, of which they seem to have plenty, it is perhaps not too surprising they occasionally manage to steal some credibility, even from the most respected academic institutions, to boost their individual CVs and collective causes. For example, an active creationist group in Leiden spearheaded by the De Deur (“The Door”), the Dutch branch of the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship evangelical church organization, have repeatedly arranged lectures and other events, such as showings of Ben Stein’s 2008 propaganda piece “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”. On March 8, 2010, De Deur and Dutch creationist Gjalt Wilma were invited (or allowed – a distinction likely lost to their devotees) to give a lecture on “Evolution or Creation” in the Plexus building Spectrumzaal. Invitations were delivered by mail to most households in Leiden a week or so before the occasion, and also advertised with posters and on the Internet, demonstrating a non-trivial dedication and organization and financial resources behind the event. The lecture itself was little more than a regurgitation of the creationist staple diet and an hour’s exposition of the intellectual dishonesty, deliberate misrepresentation, misunderstanding,

Image credit: Rossi, Kullander, Essen and the e-Cat, retrieved from energydigital.com

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 15


obfuscation, factual errors, and flawed reasoning of creationism. Accompanied with an often hidden but sometimes overt religious agenda, it was actually a fairly efficient introduction to creationism and its more recent cloaks, “intelligent design” or “academic freedom” – the latter a hot contender for the misnomer of all misnomers. The point here is not the content of this particular lecture, but the fact that the speaker and his host now refers to the event as a lecture held at Leiden University, and are perfectly correct in doing so. To paraphrase Robert May, then President of the Royal Society – this looks great on their CV, not so good on ours. Scams Another kind of credibility theft that ought to be prevented, although not always easy to police, are academics working from within the faculty and using their institutional credentials to purport frauds or scams, sometimes perhaps for public recognition, but more likely with the aim of separating gullible investors from their money. A prime and to some extent still ongoing example of this we find at the University of Bologna (to the significant amusement of my American friends) – one of the oldest academic institutions in the world. Here professor emeritus Sergio Focardi together with entrepreneur and so-called inventor Andrea Rossi have used their credentials, and especially those of their host institution, to promote a mystical device called the “Energy Catalyzer” or E-Cat – a device promised to produce cheap energy, either by cold fusion or some other, unknown, principle. If this sounds familiar, it is probably because it is not first scam of this type and, sadly, unlikely to be the last. In a series of demonstrations, Rossi and Focardi successfully convinced a significant number of blue-eyed journalists and investors, who subsequently helped propel the inventors to world fame. Although the promises have (surprise!) failed to materialize and many investors are now backing out, the damage has been done and is considerable. In addition to economic losses of investors unfortunate enough to be lured in by Rossi and colleagues, the inventors’ association with University

of Bologna has rendered this ancient institution something like the butt of a joke. Incidentally, although it is hard to show a causal link in either direction, the University of Bologna has fallen like a punctured balloon in every major academic ranking since 2009. In summary Universities are – and should be – institutions promoting open discussion and free thinking, including that irreverent of or antithetical to current paradigms. Policing such outside-the-box thinking is not what we should do. However, free thinking is not a substitute for intellectual rigor and honesty, and the openness and freedoms sometimes lend themselves to abuse. Awareness of the ways in which this may happen is needed to prevent such abuse, which would eventually harm the objectives of public universities and chip away at the built-up reputation and public trust. Individuals, groups, and organizations that have goals incompatible with the core values of the university should not be allowed to use the latter as a launch platform for their ideological or religious agenda, as it will lend them completely unwarranted academic credibility. We should keep our eyes as well as our minds open. About the author Magnus Palmblad is an associate professor at the Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics at the Leiden University Medical Center. His primary research interests involve application of mass spectrometry in proteomics and metabolomics, and systematic approaches to molecular and cell biology in general. As an undergraduate he majored in molecular biotechnology with minors in mathematics and computer science from Uppsala University and the University of Maryland at College Park. He received his doctorate from the Division of Ion Physics at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2002, after which he did three years of postdoctorate research at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States. After a short stint as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Reading BioCentre, Dr. Palmblad joined the LUMC in 2007.

Dr. Magnus Palmblad

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 16


Are Today’s Scientists Tomorrow’s Fools? By Manja Koenders

The belief that under the correct astrological conditions base metal could be ‘perfected’ into gold and the search for the Philosopher’s Stone or for an ‘elixer of life’ that could restore youth to the aged and could grant to eternal life. Today these are notions we would associate with the quests of Harry Potter, or ascribe to a bunch of medieval magicians, rather than consider them scientific pursuits. The examples above belong to the practice of alchemy, a philosophical tradition that finds its origin in the ancient Alexandria and China and has a spiritual and religious nature. Originally, alchemy may have served a more symbolic purpose: both the transmutation of common metals into gold and the universal panacea (a cure for everything) symbolized evolution from an imperfect, diseased, and corruptible state towards a perfect, healthy, incorruptible, and everlasting state. The Philosopher’s Stone then represented a mystic key that would make this evolution possible. However, this idea led to numerous experiments, attempting to actually turn lead into gold, or to find the so called ‘elixer of life’. In order to do this, alchemist actively experimented with many different chemicals and made observations and theories about how the universe operated. Already in the 17th century alchemy was sometimes revered to as the practice of ‘fools’. Robert Burton, an English scholar from Oxford University, asked in his most famous book ‘Anatomy of Melancholy’: “What is alcumy but a bundle of errors?” Lémery, a notable French chemist from the 17th century, writes in his textbook on chemistry: “Alchemy is an art without art, whose beginning is lying, whose middle is nothing but labor, and whose end is beggary.” In the extension of these statements, the following quote from the famous 20th century economist John Maynard Keynes may be considered a direct insult to the man that is known to be the founder of modern physics and chemistry: “Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.”

The Alchymist, In Search of the Philosophers’ Stone by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771.

When we look a little closer at the alchemists, the above statement can be considered both true and a compliment to Newton. First of all, Newton actually was an alchemist and devoted considerably more of his writing to the alchemy than he did to either optics or physics. His personal library contained a total of 126 books on alchemy, indicating Newton’s more than passing interest in alchemy. Secondly, alchemy in its essence is not that different from modern chemistry. A broad definition of chemistry is ‘the science of matter, the study of its composition and the laws governing them’, which also resembles the core practice of the alchemists. Although the alchemists failed to find the Philosopher’s Stone or the elixir of life, they refined techniques of distillation, sublimation and other

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 17


Sir Isaac Newton: famous physicist infamous alchemist

techniques still important in modern laboratories. This is illustrated by a description of an experiment of Robert Boyle (1627-1691), whose research clearly has its roots in the alchemical tradition. In a typical experiment, Boyle would note the place in which the experiment was carried out, the wind characteristics, the position of the Sun and Moon, and the barometer reading, all just in case they proved to be relevant. This approach eventually led to the founding of modern chemistry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Another famous alchemist, Basil Valentine, discovered many of the properties of metal antimony, he made green vitriol from pyrites, brandy from fermented grape juice, fulminating gold, sulphide of potash, and spirits of salt. He also suggested practical methods for determining whether the air insides mines was breathable. So although the initial ideas of the alchemists can be considered foolish when compared to our current scientific standards, their approach resembles modern scientific techniques. Furthermore, one can ask whether the alchemic aims were really that foolish and different compared to current scientific aims. For

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 18

one, the last decades have seen a growing number of studies in the medical field dedicated to the topic of healthy ageing. Conferences with names as ‘The future of human longevity: breaking the code’ (Switserland, 2011) or ‘International congress: adding healthy years to the human lifespan’ (The Hague, 2013) indicate that there is still a quest for a viable ‘elixer of life’. Moreover, where Isaac Newton reached for alchemy when he tried to formulate a theory of the universe that could account for everything from plant life to gravity, modern physicist use string theory to offer a complete explanation of the universe, based on 11 dimensions and imperceptibly tiny strings. We might count ourselves lucky that in modern science these major alchemic themes still exist, because this utopian and somewhat foolish way of thinking has greatly accelerated scientific progress in the past and will hopefully continue to do so in the future. In turn, our current scientists probably await the same fate as the ancient alchemists: someday they too will be regarded as fools.


From

Zero…

Name: Charlotte van Schie Faculty: Faculty of Social Science, Psychology Department When did you start your PHD? My PhD is yet to officially start September 1st. At the moment I am working on my future PhD project as a research assistant. Since November last year I assisted in a study that will be part of my PhD and at the moment I am working on my PhD proposal. As you may have derived from the previous two sentences, my research assistantship is turning into my PhD. What is your PHD research about? My PhD research covers two areas of Psychology: clinical psychology and methods and statistics. During my PhD I will be looking into how patients with borderline personality disorder react to threats to their self-esteem. During these processes we compare their brain activity (fMRI) to healthy controls. Further we look into how patients with borderline personality disorder regulate their emotions, especially negative emotions. Also, I will be looking into different ways to analyze fMRI data, not only using traditional univariate analyses but also some methods for multivariate analysis and classification. Why did you decide to do your project at Leiden University? Since the start of my studies at Leiden University, I have enjoyed my time and the friendly atmosphere at the Faculty of Social Sciences. I connected with the students and the staff and stayed in Leiden because of the expertise. This PhD project was created between the departments mentioned previously and since I was already involved in the project as a research assistant, it was an interesting opportunity for me. Moreover, it allowed me to combine two fields of interest: clinical (neuro)psychology and statistics.

What did you do before starting your PHD? Before I started my PhD I was finishing my Clinical and Health psychology research master while enjoying a ‘work experience’ job at a clinical youth setting. The youth clinic was specialized in diagnosing and treating trauma from an early age onwards. This institute gave me a lot of insight on how trauma affects the many aspects of life of kids and the diversity with which it can present. It also taught me much about the sometimes complicated health care system patients go into when they look for help. After my master I worked as a research assistant, and for the full circle see Q1. What would you like to do after? I have a few desires of what would be a nice follow up of my PhD. However, all depends on the possibilities in the future. On the one hand I would like to gain more practical experience in a clinical setting like the youth clinic. Specifically I would love to learn more about the treatment of psychopathology. On the other hand I would love to continue in this field of research; the more I read, the more I want to know. I am also very curious as to how other universities, also in other countries, view and design their studies. What do you like doing in your spare time? At the moment I am enjoying any ray of sunshine possible. I like to hang out with friends, for example playing board games, go camping of just having a beer. I also like visiting music festivals, playing the violin and cycling long distances through the Netherlands. Most important things you have learned so far? So far I only have unanswered questions. One of them is: Is feeling behind normal or will I at some point feel in front or at least on top of it?

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 19


… to

Hero

Name: Jun Lai Faculty: Faculty of Social Science, Psychology Department WHEN DID YOU START YOUR PhD? I started my PhD on 1st September, 2008 and defended on 26th February, 2013. What was your PHD research about? My research was about artificial language learning. I’m interested in how people acquire the highly complex language structures. For instance, in English we have sentences such as: “The boy that the girl kissed smiled”, which seems still understandable. However, what if we come across a longer sentence, such as: “The boy that the girl that the dog follows kissed smiled.”? I’m especially interested in how people understand and process this kind of complex sentences. My project is mainly about investigating how sample characteristics of the stimuli influence language acquisition. Why did you decide to do your project at Leiden University? Before my PhD, I did my master project under the supervision of Prof. dr. Niels Schiller, who opened the door of psycho-linguistics for me. I was really motivated and interested in this field of research, so I decided to continue exploring it with Niels as my promotor. High point / low point of your PhD? High point is the unique PhD defense. I was not nervous that day, though I thought I would be so scared and my cute paranimf was so considerate that she brought me chocolate and drinks to avoid my fainting ;-). Actually I really enjoyed the whole process, which was more like a gift to myself of thinking back about the past four academic years. Sitting opposite the committee, it feels great to give the answers to their questions; sitting in front of all my close friends who

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 20

love me, it feels so warm! Low point is when you click the SPSS-button and then see a p-value > .05. ;-( What do you like doing in your spare time? In my spare time, I like photography, which can capture the cheerful moments of life. I also like to do water-color painting, with which I can record and express my own feeling in an artistic way. Both of these habits train me to discover and appreciate the beauty of the world. What are you going to do after finishing? Do you think you will stay in Academia? Two days after my PhD defense, I started my postdoc job in Tilburg! I’m now affiliated with the Tilburg Center for Logic, General Ethics and Philosophy of Science. My current project is about explaining natural language learning from the philosophical point of view. Any pearls of wisdom? A journey of thousands of miles may not be achieved without accumulation of each single step, just as the enormous ocean may not be formed without gathering every brook or stream. (Quoted from Xun Zi during the Warring States period in ancient China.)


Restaurant Review:

Secrets of the Bittergarnituur By Kerwin Olfers

Methods Our tour started on a rainy Friday afternoon at Leiden Central Station; six LEO board members equipped with scoring sheets and good appetites, to evaluate the bittergarnituur in five different pubs on the way to Café de Keyzer. Each pub was visited for 30 minutes, allowing for one or two drinks and one order of bittergarnituur. Rated points of interest included: price, content, preparation time, taste, texture, greasiness and service, for the full list please refer to Table 1. Aside from the individual scoring points, the raters were asked to indicate an overall (not an average) score for each bittergarnituur. Bittergarnituur performance was assessed based on both overall scores and average scores.

Give PhD candidates a free meal and they will eat for a day. Teach them where to find good food, and they will eat for a lifetime, or at least until the money runs out. It is in the spirit of this ancient academic proverb, that our restaurant reviews try to highlight the best places for PhD candidates to find hot meals in Leiden. In this edition we investigated that most exquisite of all Dutch culinary accomplishments: the “bittergarnituur”. As any Dutch resident will confirm, it is the food of choice to accompany alcoholic beverages during 5 ‘o clock drinks and, when consumed in large enough quantities, will serve as a suitable substitute for an actual meal. The main staple of any bittergarnituur is the bitterbal, which derives its name from the generic word ‘bitter’ for certain types of herb-flavored alcoholic beverages, with which it was traditionally served. Today the modern bittergarnituur consists of anything that can in good conscience, or at least with minimal risk to public health, be deep fried and served in bite-sized portions, preferably accompanied by beer. In light of dire economic times, tight budgets and busy schedules, we set out to find you the best bittergarnituur you can find on the way to one of LEO’s monthly drinks at Café De Keyzer. Foolishness and fraud being the topic of this Thesis, we aimed to make this particular review as scientifically sound as possible.

Creatively presented bittergarnituur at Van Buuren

Prep Time

Overall

Average

Presentation

Temperature

Smell

Color

Texture

Sauce

Portion Size

Greasiness

Service

De Keyzer

10,40

10

8,1

8,1

7,3

8,2

8

8,5

9

8,6

8

8,3

8,3

8,1

Van Buuren

8,5

14

8,1

7,8

8,5

8,8

7,5

7,9

7,9

7,9

7,2

7

8

7

Barrera

7,8

8

8,1

7,7

7,2

9

8

7,7

7,3

7,7

6,8

8,3

8

6,8

Van der Werff

5,5

11

6,8

7,1

6,3

7,5

7,6

7,5

7,6

7,4

5,4

5,6

7,8

8,7

De Koets

8

5

6,6

6,9

5,4

7,5

7,3

6,6

7,6

7,3

5,9

7,5

7,4

6,7

Taste

Location

Price

Table 1. Averaged scores for rated points of interest per location.

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 21


Results and Discussion Content Grand café Van Buuren: 3 Bitterballen, 3 chicken nuggets, 3 cheese sticks, 3 fried shrimp. Stadscafé Van der Werff : 2 Bitterballen, 2 mini frikandel, 2 cheese sticks, 2 fried shrimp. Grand café De Koets: 6 Bitterballen, 6 kaassoufflé. Café Barrera : 4 Bitterballen, 4 mini frikandel, 4 cheese sticks, 4 vlammetjes. Café de Keyzer: 5 Bitterballen, 5 kaassoufflé, 5 vlammetjes Scores Firstly, which pub’s bittergarnituur received the highest scores? As indicated in Table 1, three pubs are tied for overall scores, all at a respectable 8.1. However, while overall scores and average scores correlated highly, r = .82, p < .001, the average scores do provide a more conclusive view. When averaged over all the rated points, café De Keyzer received the highest score, again with a solid 8.1 although not actually a significant difference. Secondly, given the scores above, which aspects of a bittergarnituur influenced overall rating the most? When predicting overall score from the individual parameters, using a stepwise backwards regression, 83% of the variance in the overall scores could be explained for by a combination of presentation, temperature, color, texture and service. The strongest predictor being temperature: an increase in average temperature rating of 1 point resulted in a .51 increase of predicted overall rating. Interestingly, average rated color was negatively related to overall score, a 1 point increase in average color rating resulting in a

predicted .39 decrease in overall score. Thirdly, the author could not in good conscience oversee the possible impact of alcoholic intake on ratings, and is pleased to report there was no significant relation between total consumed drinks and either overall score or average score, r = .051 and r = -.017 respectively. In a last aside, it is interesting to note a correlation of r = .93 between price of the bittergarnituur and the scores for sauces. Comments Although the test panel was encouraged to write down comments, the author was forced to conclude the legibility of these decreased exponentially as a function of alcoholic intake. The main findings included: unanimously positive comments about the presentation at Van Buuren, see Figure 1, and disappointment in the lack of variety at De Koets. Some of the other highlights were: “Meaty balls!”, “Mediocre mustard.” and “Excellent toilets.” Conclusion Our scientifically sound restaurant review revealed there are at least three good pubs to get a bittergarnituur: Café De Keyzer, Grand café Van Buuren en Café Barrera. However, should one be short on time or just not in the mood for a pub crawl then Café de Keyzer is, most conveniently, the place to go for bittergarnituur. Add to this the company of your fellow PhD-ers and a free first drink on LEO, and you have no excuse not to be at our next PhDrinks at Café de Keyzer! Finally, for those in the business of selling bittergarnituur, we advise to serve them properly heated, but poorly colored!

Enough toothpicks to make a bitterbal-porcupine at Van der Werff

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 22


LEO Social Events Calendar 2013

January PhDrinks

February PhDrinks

March Karaoke & PhDrinks

April Rock â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;n Roll Workshop & Spring Party with TU Delft

May Pubquiz & PhDrinks

June PhDrinks

July LEO Summer Barbeque

Keep an eye on the website www.leoleiden.nl for more social events to come!

Friday July 26th at 7 pm Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 23


WeIrD Science “Would you go to bed with me tonight?” What would you do if you were walking on campus and were asked this question? Russell Clark and Elaine Hatfield in 1989 showed that 72% of the males that were asked this question answered with a resounding “Yes”, whereas all women declined.

Demichov’s two-headed dog

Three Christs of Ypsilanti In the 1950s, psychologist Milton Rokeach was interested in delusional beliefs of psychiatric patients. He decided to put three men who all believed to be Jesus Christ in the same psychiatric ward to see what would happen, and hoped they would be able to see the faults in their reasoning. Unfortunately, after two years all three still believed that they were Jesus Christ, and reasoned that the other two patients must be crazy. Two-headed dogs The Soviet scientist Vladimir Demichov was a pioneer on organ transplants. In 1954, he creates his first dog with 2 heads, by transplanting the head of a puppy on the body of an adult dog. After this, 19 more 2-headed dogs follow, with a max lifespan of only 29 days. In 1963, the American Robert White performs the same experiment on a monkey. The man who hanged himself Nicolas Minovici was a Romanian scientist obsessed with the effects of a hanging. In his 238 pages long paper “Studies on Hanging” (1905) he analyses 172 suicides putting them into different categories like gender, place, season, kind of knot, circumference of the rope and so on. He also hanged himself over twelve times. When describing these experiments Minovici apologizes that “despite of all our courage we could not take the experiment any longer than three to four seconds.” The pain was almost intolerable, as Minovici writes, it persisted for two weeks.

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 24


R

Reader

Contributions

Are you resistant to ‘love hormone’? Then you are also easier to hypnotize! Gene variants of oxytocin, a hormone that increases trust and social bonding (also called ‘love hormone’) were related to hypnosis susceptibility: those with gene variants linked to social detachment and autism were found to be most susceptible to hypnosis (Bryant et al., 2013). This study concludes that such individuals are particularly good at becoming absorbed in their own internal world, and might also be more susceptible to other distortions of reality.

The interspecies empathy of a dead salmon. The Ig Nobel Neuroscience prize winner of 2012 was an article titled: “Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the postmortem Atlantic Salmon: An argument for multiple comparisons correction.” The authors demonstrated how, with standard fMRI practices, task-related brain activity could be found in a dead salmon. The salmon was shown photographs of people in varying social situations and asked to “determine what emotion the individual in the photo must have been experiencing.”

Eufrican Sphere

By Sakky Van Leiden

Here I live in Africa As in Africa, I sweat The water is gone warm A cold drink from the tap Do I need, a fan? The cold breeze From under the door caresses Naked feet, that dare not Walk the cobbled street Can do without the quilt This Africa, two steps wide Six steps long, enveloped All round, tasteless salt From heaven, oh that you could last Laden in a ship To the heart of Africa But, alas!...

Empathy related brain activity in a dead salmon

Thesis LEO / SUMMER 2013 / page 25


For all (new) PhD candidates in Leiden! Join LEO (Leiden PhD Association), and profit from our:  Monthly PhDrinks (first drink always on LEO)  Monthly newsletter  Bi-annual magazine THESIS  Discounts with printers for printing and editing your dissertation  Social and professional PhD related activities  Contact with institutions as Leiden University, PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands and other Leiden and Dutch PhD associations

Karaoke PhDrinks

After Summer Party 2012

Board 2013

Boat trip

For more info and to register as a member: www.leoleiden.nl And join our Facebook group LEO – Leiden PhD Association Questions? Mail us at info@leoleiden.nl

Thesis Summer 2013: "Fools and Frauds in Science!  
Thesis Summer 2013: "Fools and Frauds in Science!  

Thesis is the biannual magazine of LEO: The Leiden PhD Association. This is the Summer 2013 Edition: "Fools and Frauds in Science!"

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