Monday, 24 June, 2019

DNA pioneer James Watson loses honours over race remarks

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007 Image The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007
Elijah Vega | 14 January, 2019, 16:10

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in NY said Watson's most recent comments in a 2018 documentary were "completely and utterly incompatible" with its mission.

"Cold Spring Harbor 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", CSHL said.

"Dr. Watson's statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of (the laboratory), its trustees, faculty, staff or students".

"The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice", it added.

"All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really", he told the Times newspaper at the time.

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

While the DNA pioneer also expressed his hope for everyone to be equal, he added that "people who have to deal with black employees found this is not true". There's a "difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests", he said.

'Game of Thrones' finally reveals Season 8 premiere date
As all three Stark kids stand in front of their own crypt statues, they turn as a frost creeps down the hallway. Along with the premiere date, HBO also released an nearly 2-minute long teaser, "The Crypts of Winterfell".

An apology and retraction was issued by Watson that year following worldwide public outcry, although reports noted the scientists' statement rang false.

Watson's new comments came in an on-camera interview with Mark Mannucci, producer of a documentary that aired last week on PBS as part of its "American Masters" series, which profiles individuals who have made a major contribution to American culture. "I would say the difference is, it's genetic".

The Times reported that Watson's family said he was unable to respond, having been in medical care since a auto accident in October.

Watson has long expressed questionable views, including a 1997 interview in which he expressed unreserved support for abortion rights - something that might have been relatively uncontroversial had he not specifically mentioned fetuses determined to have hypothetical genes leading to homosexuality, dyslexia, or a lack of musical or sports talent as valid reasons to terminate a pregnancy.

During a lecture tour in 2000, he suggested there might be links between a person's weight and their level of ambition and between skin color and sexual prowess.

He and British biologist Dr Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for their discovery nine years earlier of the double helix structure of DNA, the molecules that carry all the genetic information determining how we grow, function and reproduce.

"My dad's statements might make him out to be a bigot and discriminatory", Rufus Watson said to the AP.

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