DNA pioneer James Watson stripped of honours after ‘reckless’ race remarks – Sky News

16
108
DNA pioneer James Watson stripped of honours after ‘reckless’ race remarks – Sky News

Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist James Watson has been stripped of several honorary titles by the laboratory he once headed over his views about intelligence and race.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was acting in response to remarks he made in a television documentary which aired earlier this month.

The 90-year-old geneticist – one of three who discovered the DNA double helix – had lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007 for expressing racist views.

But in the new PBS film, American Masters: Decoding Watson, he said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since.

He had told a magazine in 2007 he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” as “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really”.

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007
Image:
The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007

While Dr Watson also said he hoped everyone was equal, he added: “People who have to deal with black employees find this is not true.”

In the latest documentary, the molecular biologist says that genes cause a difference on average between black people and white people in IQ tests.

The laboratory branded the latest remarks “reprehensible”, “reckless” and “unsupported by science”, saying they effectively reversed Dr Watson’s written apology and retraction in 2007.

The research centre subsequently revoked three titles – chancellor emeritus, Oliver R Grace Professor Emeritus, and honorary trustee.

The zoologist has a long-standing association with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, with him becoming director in 1968, its president in 1994 and its chancellor a decade later. The lab also has a school named after him.

Dr Watson’s son, Rufus, has since said his father was in a nursing home after a car crash in October. He said the scientist’s awareness of his surroundings were “very minimal” and rejected the notion he was a “bigot”.

He said: “My dad’s statements might make him out to be a bigot and discriminatory… [but] they just represent his rather narrow interpretation of genetic destiny.

“My dad had made the lab his life, and yet now the lab considers him a liability.”

Dr Watson rose to prominence after sharing a Nobel Prize with scientists Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for discovering DNA was a double helix in the shape of a long, twisting ladder. The finding presented a breakthrough in understanding how genetic material worked.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I just want to tell you that I am all new to blogs and really loved your web-site. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You amazingly come with beneficial articles. Kudos for revealing your website.

  2. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back down the road. Many thanks

  3. There a few intriguing points in time in this post but I do not know if every one of them center to heart. You can find some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I explore it further. Excellent article , thanks so we want more! Combined with FeedBurner too

  4. Subsequently, after spending many hours on the internet at last We’ve uncovered an individual that definitely does know what they are discussing many thanks a great deal wonderful post

  5. I just want to reveal to you that I am new to posting and undeniably admired your site. Likely I am prone to store your blog post . You certainly have outstanding article content. Delight In it for swapping with us your internet site write-up

  6. An fascinating discussion will be worth comment. I do believe that you can write regarding this topic, it might become a taboo subject but typically consumers are insufficient to dicuss on such topics. Yet another. Cheers

  7. Thanks for your write-up. I also believe laptop computers have gotten more and more popular lately, and now are sometimes the only type of computer utilised in a household. The reason is that at the same time they are becoming more and more affordable, their computing power is growing to the point where they may be as highly effective as desktop computers coming from just a few years ago.

  8. One more thing I would like to express is that as opposed to trying to fit all your online degree training on days of the week that you complete work (as most people are tired when they get back), try to arrange most of your sessions on the saturdays and sundays and only a couple courses in weekdays, even if it means taking some time away from your weekend break. This is beneficial because on the week-ends, you will be more rested and concentrated with school work. Thanks for the different points I have mastered from your blog.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here