Honorary Titles Revoked From DNA Pioneer James Watson Over Racist Views

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York State has revoked every title and honor given to 90-year-old DNA pioneer, James Watson.


Watson, who has been affiliated with the lab since 1968, stood by his controversial 2007 views of Blacks being a genetically inferior race. He won the Nobel Prize in 1962 helping discover the structure of DNA. His views still supported the archaic and invalid line of thought that race and intelligence were connected.

In 2007, he told a magazine, in an interview, that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa … as all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours where all the testing says not really.”

He continued on to say: “I hoped everyone was equal. People who have to deal with Black employees find this is not true.”

He, later, issued a retraction and an apology, but then doubled down again in a recent appearance in the PBS film, “American Masters: Decoding Watson,” he said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since.

Watson reiterated in the documentary that genes cause a difference on average between Black people and white people in IQ tests.

He explained, “I would like for them to have changed, that there be new knowledge that says that your nurture is much more important than nature. But I haven’t seen any knowledge. And there’s a difference on the average between Blacks and whites on IQ tests. I would say the difference is, it’s genetic.”

Not only did the CSHL publicly denounce Watson’s “theory” again, but he was also terminated, then stripped of all of his titles and accolades, including chancellor emeritus, Oliver R Grace professor emeritus, and honorary trustee.

The lab’s president, Bruce Stillman, and chair of the board of trustees Marilyn Simons, said in a statement: “The lab unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. James D. Watson expressed on the subject of ethnicity and genetics. 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.”

Reader Question: Do you think Dr. Watson should have been stripped of his titles because his views hadn’t changed

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