A New York laboratory has cut its ties with James Watson, the Nobel prize-winning scientist who helped discover the structure of DNA, over “reprehensible” comments in which he said race and intelligence are connected.
Double helix trouble
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was revoking all titles and honors conferred on Watson, 90, who led the lab for many years.
The lab “unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr James D Watson expressed on the subject of ethnicity and genetics”, its president, Bruce Stillman, and chair of the board of trustees, Marilyn Simons, said in a statement.
“Dr Watson’s statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students. The laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.”
With Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins, the scientist was one of the researchers who discovered the double helix structure of DNA in 1953.
In 2007, the lab removed him as chancellor after he told the Sunday Times 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”.
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