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Home / Science / DNA pioneer James Watson has final honours stripped amid racism row

DNA pioneer James Watson has final honours stripped amid racism row



The eminent geneticist James Watson has snatched the last of his honorary titles after doubling the controversial claims on race and intelligence.

The Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin discovered the double helix structure of DNA, has been involved in controversies for over a decade

In 2007 he lost his job at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for having made racist remarks, but retained three honorary titles including the chancellor emeritus.


However, following a new documentary in which he said that these opinions had not changed, he told interviewers that genes were responsible for a difference in the average IQ between whites and blacks, they decided to take further actions.

Describing the observations as "reprehensible" and "not supported by science", the laboratory stated that they effectively undermined the apology released by the scientist following the original controversy.

According to the best geneticists, even the most sophisticated DNA evaluations are not able to find solid evidence of racial differences in intelligence.

Dr. Watson told an interviewer in 2007 that he was "inherently gloomy about the perspective of Africa" ​​because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where the whole test does not really say ".

He also said that while he would like everyone to be equal, "the people who owe with black employees find that this is not true".

The new comments were made in a documentary from the series American Masters on PBS, in which the creators said they would try to tackle the controversial problem.

Dr. Watson, who is now 90, resides in a nursing home after a car accident in October that left him with a "minimal" awareness of his surroundings. [196591] The geneticist's son Rufus told the AP [19659140] while his statements make him look like a "bigot", that was not the case.

"They only represent his rather narrow interpretation of genetic destiny," he said. "My father had made his life in the laboratory, but now the laboratory considers it a responsibility."

Dr. Watson had been involved in Cold Spring Harbor since the '60s, as a director, president and chancellor.


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Originally became famous after he and Crick revealed the double-stranded DNA model, based in part on an image of X-ray diffraction captured by Franklin.

The epochal discovery made the two men famous, and both continued to have successful careers in science.

However, Dr. Watson was persecuted on charges of racism, sexism and homophobia.

While his controversial views – including those concerning a link between dark skin and libido and selective abortion based on a hypothetical "gay gene" – often have in the context of genetics, many experts have denounced them as highly unscientific.


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