Nobel Winning DNA Pioneer Reiterates Genes Cause Difference In IQ Tests Of Blacks And Whites, Stripped Of Titles

Swarajya Staff

Jan 21, 2019, 12:17 PM | Updated 12:16 PM IST

Nobel laureate James Watson (Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
Nobel laureate James Watson (Alex Wong/Newsmakers)

Ninety-year-old Nobel Prize-winning American scientist James Watson has been stripped of his honorary titles by a leading American research institution after reiterating his own scientific conclusion linking race and intelligence, BBC reported.

In a recent TV programme, the pioneer in DNA studies once again firmly stood by his view that genes cause a difference between blacks and whites in IQ tests.

In 2007, Watson was suspended from all of his positions held at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for his controversial claim about the "inherently gloomy" future of the African continent.

“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.

After those remarks, Watson was fired from his job as chancellor at the laboratory and also divested from all his administrative duties. He subsequently wrote an apology and managed to retain his honorary titles of chancellor emeritus, Oliver R Grace professor emeritus and honorary trustee.

Watson was recently asked in a PBS documentary, titled American Masters: Decoding Watson, whether his views about race and intelligence have changed, he replied that they haven’t.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said the 90-year-old scientist's remarks were "unsubstantiated and reckless".

"Dr Watson's statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science," the laboratory said in a statement, adding that they effectively reversed his apology.

Watson catapulted to international scientific fame in 1953 after helping discover DNA's double helix structure with fellow geneticists Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick. In 1962, the team was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.”

In 1968 Watson began serving as director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, subsequently assumed the roles of president and chancellor, before being suspended and retiring from the research lab in 2007.

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