Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Nobel Scientist James Watson Stripped Of Titles For 'Reprehensible' Race Remarks

Nobel Scientist James Watson Stripped Of Titles For 'Reprehensible' Race Remarks

"Dr. Watson's statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, an in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students. The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice", the laboratory said in a Friday (Jan 11) statement before revoking three titles - chancellor emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus, and honorary trustee soon afterwards. He also said he took no joy in "the difference between blacks and whites" and that "it's bad, just like it's terrible for schizophrenics".

As is to be expected, Watson's son insists that despite his father making racist statements about Black intelligence and standing by them, his father is not a racist.

Watson apologised, though the incident ended in his semi-forced retirement as chancellor of the laboratory and later, his decision to sell his Nobel Prize.

He added while he hoped all people could exhibit equal intelligences, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".

In that interview, Watson said that his views had not changed and he had not "seen any knowledge" negating his belief that there is a genetic connection between race and intelligence, the Times wrote.

In February 1953, a jubilant Dr Crick walked into The Eagle pub in Cambridge, the local for scientists at the University's Cavendish Laboratory, and proclaimed he and Dr Watson had "found the secret of life".

In a new PBS documentary, the titan of genetics said that his opinions on the issue remain unchanged, adding that differences in IQ's between Caucasians and other races were reflected in DNA.

Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory acknowledges and appreciates Dr. Watson's substantial scientific legacy, including his role as founding director of the Human Genome Project and his critical leadership in the development of research and education at the Laboratory during his prior tenure as Director and President.

The scientist, who helped identify the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule, stated in the documentary that he still held on to that view.

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in NY, in 2007 (where Watson had been a director between 1968-1993) for expressing those views publicly that year. The scientist said at the time that he chose to sell the award in an attempt to redeem his reputation after his comments in 2007, The New York Times reported. But in 2014, Watson auctioned off his Nobel medal for $4.1 million, after years of being shunned by the scientific community.

Today, there is a consensus among scientists that race is a purely social construct, with no evidence to suggest distinct genetic differences between individuals from different populations.

Like this: