The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory resisted several honorary titles from its former director and Nobel laureate in DNA research on Friday after reasserting its belief that blacks are genetically inferior in intelligence.
James Watson, 90, These comments were made public for the first time in an interview with the 2007 magazine and repeated on PBS's "American Masters: Decoding Watson," which aired on January 2.
In a statement announcing the withdrawal of the title, Laboratory Chair Marilyn Simons and his President and CEO, Bruce Stillman, said that the laboratory was indefinitely opposed to the unfounded and reckless personal opinions Dr. Ing. James D. Watson during the PBS documentary on Ethnicity and Genetics. , Watson's statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way reflect the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff or students. The lab condemns the abuse of science to justify prejudice. "
In 2007, Watson told the Sunday Times Magazine in London that he was" inherently bleak about the prospect of Africa "because" all our social policies are based on it. "Their intelligence is the same as ours, while all tests say that this is not really the case. "He also hoped that everyone would be the same, but" people who have to deal with black employees do not realize this.
When "Watson decoding" producer and director Mark Mannucci asked Watson if his views on race and intelligence had changed, "Watson replied. "No, not at all, I want them to change and have new knowledge that says your care is much more important." as nature. But I have not seen any knowledge, and there is an average difference between blacks and whites in IQ testing. I would say the difference is, it's genetic. "
Laboratory spokeswoman Dagnia Zeidlickis said Saturday:" As an institution, it's a sad moment. "
" It's sad to be confronted with such a dichotomy, "she said, quoting Watson's long list of scientific achievements his administration of the laboratory with "comments not supported." by the science. "
Watson was director of the laboratory from 1
The Laboratory of Biological Sciences is named after Watson Whether the lab will take its name off school, Zeidlickis said, "I can not tell you what the future looks like. But we are constantly evolving. "
Watson shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for a groundbreaking discovery of DNA structure.
Nancy Hopkins, a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Watson had been a mentor to her when he was a professor at Harvard University and studied at Radcliffe College.
But last year, Watson told her that the shortage of prominent female scientists was genetic differences, Hopkins said on Saturday. "It's exactly what he says about race."
Hopkins is amazed that a brilliant scientist, who was ahead of his time promoting women in science and never told her a racist word, would now say that women and blacks are genetically inferior.
Hopkins supports the lab's decision to win the honorary title. "It's like he's a different person," she said.
One of Watson's sons, Duncan Watson, declined to comment on Saturday.
Another son, Rufus Watson, who is schizophrenic, told The Associated Press, who is in a nursing home near the lab after a car accident in October, has "very little" awareness of his surroundings. He said his father was not a fanatic.
The remarks in the documentary "only represent his rather narrow interpretation of genetic fate," he told the AP.
Mannucci said on Saturday that he would give Watson two opportunities for two months to explain his remarks from 2007 and defended them each time.
"There was no need to nail or get him," said Mannucci. "It was not a gotcha question. It should be fair for him. "
Michael Wigler, a cancer researcher with Cold Spring and former colleague of Watson, said," For those of us who have had the honor of knowing the man and his deeds, there is only fear of the present situation. "