James Watson Loses Honor Over Racist Comment

James Watson Loses Honor Over Racist Comment
  • PublishedJanuary 14, 2019

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist, James Watson who helped in the structure of DNA has been stripped of his academic titles after repeating offensive racist views that began to shred his reputation over a decade ago.

The pioneer of DNA who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1962 for his role in the discovery of molecule ‘double helix’  structure was quoted as saying in a documentary: “There’s a difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests. I would say the difference is, it’s genetic.”

It’s not the first time Watson has come under fire for stating these kinds of beliefs.

In 2007, Watson created a furor after he was quoted as saying he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

In the same article by The Times, Watson acknowledged such views were a “hot potato”, but said that while he hoped that everyone was equal, “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.

In response, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) – the pioneering research lab Watson led for decades – has distanced themselves from him

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions,” CSHL said in a statement.

“Dr. Watson’s statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL… The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.”


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