Conning academic punished
A disgraced social psychologist who admitted faking or manipulating data in dozens of publications has agreed to do 120 hours of community service work and forfeit welfare benefits equivalent to 18 months’ salary in exchange for not being prosecuted for fraud. Prosecutors announced the deal on Friday, calling it “a fitting conclusion” to a case of scientific fraud that sent shockwaves through academic circles. Diederik Stapel who formerly worked at universities in the cities of Groningen and Tilburg, acknowledged the fraud in 2011 and issued a public apology in November last year, saying he had “failed as a scientist.” He once claimed to have shown that the very act of thinking about eating meat makes people behave more selfishly.
Jagger ponders career past
Rockstar Mick Jagger thinks his original career plan to become a school teacher might have provided plenty of satisfaction. The Rolling Stones frontman told BBC Radio on Friday that his music career has not been challenging intellectually and that teaching might have been “gratifying” instead. He also said he had considered becoming a politician or a journalist when he was a teen. Instead he has become one of the most successful rock singers in history. Despite his interest in other careers, Jagger says he is “very pleased” with how things have turned out. The band is marking its 50th year together with a series of concerts that will also include a first ever appearance at the Glastonbury festival this weekend and a return next month to Hyde Park in London.
Gliders detained in Iran
A group of five or six hang-glider enthusiasts has been detained in Iran on suspicion of espionage, the news Web site www.sme.sk said on Friday. The foreign ministry said it knew of the case, but refused to confirm any details or the number of detainees. The Web site said the group had traveled to Iran in late May for a “planned expedition” and were detained some three weeks ago. They were accused of taking photographs, including of military installations, from a hang glider, the Web site said.
Racy novel to be published
A novel written 45 years ago, which follows the sexual adventures of a woman who sleeps with men and women, commits incest and murders a nun, and which was considered at the time too shocking for readers, is finally to be published in Britain. Penguin is bracing for controversy over The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza, an Italian actor who died penniless in 1996, having struggled in vain to woo a publisher. Sapienza’s husband kept the manuscript for two decades, publishing 1,000 copies himself in 1998 before it was eventually taken up by publishers in Italy and France as a forgotten masterpiece. It has sold 300,000 hardbacks in France alone — more than any major hardback fiction book last year in Britain. Penguin is finally making it available in English from 4 July. Penguin Classics editorial director Alexis Kirschbaum says the novel is extraordinary. She says she bought it two years ago — before Fifty Shades of Grey made erotic fiction mainstream — but its 600 pages have taken Anne Milano Appel until now to translate. Fifty Shades has shown that there is an interest in women’s sexuality, Kirschbaum said, describing Sapienza’s approach as “much more sophisticated” because her novel is also political, historical and philosophical.