Advertisement

Watson faces harsh criticisms

James Watson is coming under fire for telling the Sunday Times that he believed people of African descent are less intelligent. Yesterday (October 17), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (where Watson is Chancellor) Board of Trustees and President Bruce Stillman released a statement distancing the center from one of its most vocal representatives. Watson's comments "are his own personal statements and in no way reflect the mission, goals, or principles of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's

By | October 18, 2007

James Watson is coming under fire for telling the Sunday Times that he believed people of African descent are less intelligent. Yesterday (October 17), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (where Watson is Chancellor) Board of Trustees and President Bruce Stillman released a statement distancing the center from one of its most vocal representatives. Watson's comments "are his own personal statements and in no way reflect the mission, goals, or principles of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Board, administration or faculty," linkurl:the statement;http://www.cshl.edu/public/releases/07_statement.html reads. "The Board of Trustees, administration and faculty vehemently disagree with these statements and are bewildered and saddened if he indeed made such comments. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not engage in any research that could even form the basis of the statements attributed to Dr. Watson." Today, the Federation of American Scientists, too, linkurl:condemned Watson;http://fas.org/main/content.jsp?formAction=297&contentId=572 for his comments. "At a time when the scientific community is feeling threatened by political forces seeking to undermine its credibility, it is tragic that one of the icons of modern science has cast such dishonor on the profession," said Henry Kelly, president of the Federation of American Scientists, in a statement. "While we honor the extraordinary contributions that Dr. Watson has made to science in the past, his comments show that he has lost his way. He has failed us in the worst possible way," said Kelly. "It is a sad and revolting way to end a remarkable career." This isn't the first time Watson has made controversial personal statements. Two years ago, linkurl:in response to;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15789/ a reading of a film about the quest of Rosalind Franklin's close friend Anne Sayre to reveal Franklin's true role in the discovery of DNA's structure, a direct to response Watson's less-than-generous account of the King's College scientist in his uninhibited 1968 memoir The Double Helix, Watson suggested Franklin had Asperger syndrome, the autistic spectrum disorder, which he insisted is common among women who are talented at science. Watson is currently promoting his latest book, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science. In response to his comments, London's Science Museum canceled a talk by Watson scheduled for Friday.
Advertisement

Comments

Avatar of: Fin Ally

Fin Ally

Posts: 1

October 22, 2007

It's about time Watson crashed and burned his career with comments like this.\n\nThe fact he lasted this long shows how one can advance and prolong his (not hers) career in science with good friends and hard working underlings.\n\nLong live science.\n\n

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Maverix Biomics
Maverix Biomics
Advertisement