DNA discoverer James Watson loses honors over visions of race | World News


A New York lab broke off relations with Nobel laureate James Watson, who helped discover the DNA, because of "reprehensible" comments in which he said race and intelligence are connected.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was repealing all the titles and honors of Watson, 90, who led the lab for many years.

The lab "unequivocally rejects the unwelcome and reckless personal opinions that Dr. James D Watson has expressed on the subject of ethnicity and genetics," said its chairman, Bruce Stillman, and chairman of the board of directors Marilyn Simons, in a statement.

"Dr. Watson's remarks are reprehensible, without the support of science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its curators, teachers, staff or students. The laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice. "

With Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, the scientist was one of the researchers who discovered the double helix structure of DNA in 1953.

In 2007, the laboratory removed him as chancellor after he told the Sunday Times that he was "inherently dark about the perspective of Africa" ​​because "all our social policies are based on the fact that his intelligence is the same as ours, while all the tests say, not really. "

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He also said that while he wanted races to be the same, "people who have to deal with black officials think this is not true."

Watson apologized at the time, but in a recent documentary he said his opinions have not changed.

"Not at all," he said in the American PBS documentary, American Masters: Decoding Watson, according to the New York Times.

"I would like them to change, to have new knowledge that says that their education is much more important than nature. But I did not see any knowledge. And there is a difference in average between blacks and whites in IQ tests. I'd say the difference is genetic.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was repealing Watson's honorary titles, which include chancellor emeritus, emeritus professor Oliver R Grace, and the honorary curator.

The latest comments "have effectively reversed Dr. Watson's written apology and retraction in 2007," the lab said, adding that it appreciates its legacy of scientific breakthroughs and leadership but can no longer be associated with it.

"The statements he made in the documentary are completely and totally incompatible with our mission, values ​​and policies, and require cutting any remaining traces of his involvement," said Simons and Stillman.

The Times reported that Watson's family said he was unable to respond by having been in medical care since a car accident in October. The PBS interview was filmed last summer.


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