James Watson discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA alongside Francis Crick.
James Watson discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA alongside Francis Crick.

DNA pioneer stripped of honours over race comments

ANI | Updated: Jan 14, 2019 17:19 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan 14 (ANI): A Nobel Prize-winning American scientist who co-discovered DNA has been stripped of his honorary titles at the laboratory he once led. The move came after he repeated racist comments in a documentary.
James Watson, who discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA alongside Francis Crick in the 1950s based on the work of British chemist Rosaling Franklin, said in a PBS film that genes cause a difference in intelligence between white and black people in IQ tests.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) labelled the nonagenarian scientist's comments 'reprehensible', reported CNN.
James Watson had been the director of CSHL from 1968 to 1993.
The laboratory said that it "unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. James D. Watson expressed," noting the statements were "reprehensible [and] unsupported by science."
The statement further added that it condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.
CNN further wrote that Watson had in a previous occasion told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper in 2007 that he was 'gloomy' about the prospect of Africa because while all social policies are based on the fact that their 'intelligence is the same as ours', tests say otherwise.
The scientist added that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true."
Those comments led CSHL to relieve him of his administrative duties, but he retained his honorary titles until now.
While Watson apologised for the comments in 2007, he said in the PBS documentary 'American Masters: Decoding Watson,' which aired on 2 January, that his views had not changed.
The remarks are the latest in a series of racist and homophobic statements that have tainted Watson's career. (ANI)

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