Warning about scientist misconduct is not easily allowed


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Universities are not obligated to warn each other about the misconduct of a researcher who moves to another institution. This would run afoul of privacy laws, explains outgoing Minister Dijkgraaf.


Last month, Algemeen Dagblad reported on a professor who was dismissed from Utrecht University due to sexually inappropriate behavior. In the past, the man had allegedly also engaged in misconduct at Vrije Universiteit, Maastricht University, and the University of Pennsylvania.


Privacy Legislation
Utrecht University expressed the desire for universities to inform each other about such issues, as reported by AD. However, exchanging such information quickly conflicts with privacy legislation, according to Dijkgraaf's response to parliamentary questions from his own party, D66.


Making it mandatory would also be challenging, he explains. According to Dijkgraaf, there must be something exceptional before institutions can share such sensitive information among themselves. They must always weigh whether the privacy interest is not more significant. (HOP, PvT)