Posts Tagged ‘Don Poldermans’

Another fraudster unmasked in Dutch academia: Anthropologist Mart Bax

September 23, 2013

After the unmasking of the massive scientific misconduct committed by Dirk Smeesters, Don Poldermans and Diedrik Stapel, the Netherlands can ill afford yet another scandal. But that would be living in hope. Now comes this scandal involving an anthropologist, Mart Bax, which appears to be just as massive a fraud.

It does seem that Dutch Universities are cleansing their academic stables. And by the amount of excrement being found it seems to be quite a task! I don’t think that attitudes and pressures in Dutch scientific research are much different to those in other parts of Europe. Which only suggests that while the Dutch are cleaning house, there is a great deal of muck waiting to be found in other countries.

(The picture in the earlier posting was not of Mart Bax but of the journalist who exposed him. The picture has been removed. My thanks to thinkerandtinker for pointing out my error and my apologies to Mr. Frank van Kolfschooten).

Bax retired as a Professor from the Free University (Vrije Universiteit) of Amsterdam in 2003. But for 15 years – at least – he has been making up data. He has invented places where he has claimed to have carried out research, he has made up titles for himself along with claims of non-existent teaching at prestigious universities. Some 64 papers of his 161 claimed publications do not exist.

  • Of the 161 publications claimed by Bax, 64 are non-existent.
  • The book Medjugorje: Religion, Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia (1995) mentions a blood feud for which there is no evidence at all. None of the inhabitants of the area are aware of anything like this happening.
  • Shortly after the publication of book mentioned above, Bax acknowledged that he misinterpreted some information, but claimed he did not have the chance to make any rectifications.
  • The commission established he did have the opportunity to rectify these errors at various occasions, yet never did.
  • After the publication of Medjugorje: Religion, Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia, Bax referred to the blood feud in three other articles, after he already acknowledged to be aware of the misinterpretation, which the commission labeled as “serious scientific misconduct”.

Retraction Watch: Bax, who studied an Irish town he called Patricksville, a Dutch pilgrimage site he called Neerdonk, and Medjugorje, a Bosnian pilgrimage site, retired from the Free University in 2002. The university began investigating Bax’s work last year after science journalist Frank van Kolfschooten published Ontspoorde Wetenschap (“Derailed science”). In that book, van Kolfschooten raised questions about Bax’s work into an alleged massacre at Medjugorje during the Bosnian War.

 NRC Handelsblad: Again fraud in science is exposed by a university inquiry. Former professor of political anthropology Mart Bax from the Free University has invented research, published nonexistent items put on his list of publications and  committed forgery in university documents. That concludes a commission of inquiry headed by historian Prof. Michiel Baud from the University of Amsterdam.

Volkskrant: The retired professor of political anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Mart Bax has committed at least 15 years of serious scientific misconduct, forgery and plagiarism itself. That is the conclusion of the inquiry led by historian Michiel Baud in a report released today.  ….

The committee also calls it “very likely” that Bax has made up much of his fieldwork in Brabant and the Bosnian pilgrimage site of Medjugorje from his imagination. But the committee can not formally call it science fraud since Bax insists he was misled by informants themselves. Notes have been destroyed and the informants themselves are untraceable or deceased. The Committee therefore holds it as “serious scientific misconduct “,” deception” and “unethical scientific behavior”.

Poldermans misconduct report finds lack of patient consent, sloppy data collection and data fabrication

November 21, 2011

Over the weekend Erasmus University published their executive summary (in Dutch) of the investigation which resulted in the dismissal of Professor Don Poldermans. The investigation commission included members from Erasmus, Leiden and Amsterdam Medical Centres.

Prof. Dr. P.J. van der Maas, former dean of Erasmus MC (Chair)
Prof. Dr. B. Löwenberg, Emeritus Professor of Hematology, Erasmus MC
Prof. Dr. R.J.G. Peters, Professor of Cardiology, Amsterdam MC
Prof. Dr. A.J. Rabelink, Professor of Internal Medicine, Leiden UMC
Mr. J.M. Oosting, head of Legal Affairs, Erasmus MC
Administrative support is provided by Dr. RE Juttmann and Dr. R.M. Struhkamp.
Poldermans was the leader of the Dutch Echocardiographic Cardiac Risk Evaluation Applying Stress Echocardiography (DECREASE) studies:

DECREASE I: In high-risk patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery, perioperative beta-blockade with bisoprolol significantly reduces cardiac death and MI in the short- and long-term

DECREASE II: Patients identified as intermediate risk on the basis of a simple clinical assessment do not need pre-operative echocardiographic cardiac stress testing, provided that they receive bisoprolol to maintain resting heart rate at 60–65 b.p.m.

DECREASE III: In high-risk patients undergoing major vascular surgery, fluvastatin XL significantly reduces myocardial ischaemia and the combined endpoint of cardiovascular death and MI

DECREASE IV: In intermediate-risk patients, bisoprolol significantly reduces cardiac death and MI, with a non-significant trend towards a beneficial effect of fluvastatin XL

DECREASE V: In high-risk patients with extensive stress-induced ischaemia, coronary revascularization (added to tight heart rate control with bisoprolol) does not produce any additional reduction in death and MI and delays surgery.

 DECREASE VI: is a trial for testing NT-proBNP for the evaluation of cardiac risk in patients undergoing vascular surgery.

The investigation concluded that there were serious deficiencies in getting patients’ consent for inclusion in the studies, that data collection was sloppy and that data was fabricated. However no patients were harmed. Data manipulation was not found. The responsibility for the misconduct was that of the Professor Poldermans and not of any of the other researchers. The Commission found several serious errors and protocol violations in the D2 and D6 studies and possibly in D4. Evidence of data fabrication was found in submitted abstracts for the D6 study (not published).

The D6 study sponsored by Roche Diagnostics is to be discontinued.

The Commission believes that the Journal which published the D2 study should be informed (The Journal of the American College of Cardiology) but that retraction of the publications was not needed.

Erasmus University, Rotterdam sacks Professor of cardio-vascular medicine for scientific misconduct

November 17, 2011
Don Poldermans

Don Poldermans

Universities in Holland are having a torrid time with another dismissal for scientific misconduct, this time at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. But the seriousness with which investigations are carried out and the speed and decisiveness with which Dutch Universities act is quite impressive.

Professor Don Poldermans, MD, PhD, is was  Professor of Medicine and head of the section perioperative cardiac care of the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Poldermans received his medical degree at the Erasmus Medical Centre in 1981. He is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology and an honorary member of the Dutch Society of Anesthesiology. He is active within the Departments of Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, and Surgery of the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Dr Poldermans is actively involved in patient care, education, research, and administration. He supervised 26 PhD students, all working on cardiovascular research. He has published more than 600 manuscripts in several peer-reviewed Journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, Circulation, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dutch News:

Erasmus University in Rotterdam has sacked a professor in cardio-vascular medicine for damaging the institution’s academic integrity and for ‘scientific misconduct’, the NRC  reports on Thursday.

The professor is accused of faking academic data and compromising patient trust, the paper says. In particular, he failed to obtain patient consent for carrying out research and recorded results ‘which cannot be resolved to patient information,’ the university said.

Don Poldermans has spent years researching the risk of complications during cardio-vascular surgery and has some 500 publications to his name.

A spokesman for Poldermans told the paper he admitted not keeping to research protocols but denied faking data.

Last month, Tilburg and Groningen universities said they planned to take legal action against behavioural science professor Diederik Stapel after an investigation showed he had faked research data in at least 30 scientific papers.

According to Elsevier, an investigation committee brought the fraud to light. It found that Poldermans had taken blood samples and heart echoes from patients without their permisssion and has reported results which cannot be traced to any patient.
“Patients were not physically harmed,” emphasizes Dean and Director Huib Pols. He said he was deeply shocked by the case. Patients who participated in the latest survey receive a letter of apology from the hospital.
Related: Diedrik Stapel faked at least 30 papers

%d bloggers like this: