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Laboratory settler binds James Watson and cites unused and reckless remarks



The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory revoked the honorary title of its longtime leader James D. Watson on Friday, calling his recent statements about genetic differences in racial intelligence "unfounded and ruthless."

Dr. Watson, one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century, had apologized after making similar statements in 2007 to a British newspaper. At that time, he had to resign his post as Chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island. There he retained his office as well as the titles Chancellor emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor emeritus and honorary trustee. The Graduate School of Biosciences at the Research Center Watson was named, and the lab held a 90th birthday party for him last spring.

For the past ten years, the lab, like many scientists, has been involved in a delicate balancing act regarding Dr. Ing. Watson: To keep him at arm's length to reinforce unfounded racial stereotypes while honoring him for his contributions to science. Watson helped Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin discover the DNA's double-helix structure in 1953, and helped shape the subsequent revolution in molecular biology.

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However, his recent comments "apply the written apology and the revocation of Dr. Ing. Watson's 2007 effective on "and" requires cutting off any remaining traces of his involvement, "said Bruce Stillman, chief executive of Cold Spring Harbor, and Marilyn Simons, chairman of the board of trustees, in a statement.

"It is not news when a ninety-year-old man who has lost cognitive inhibition and has walked for decades in his old age speaks of his presence," Dr. Wigler wrote in one E-mail: "It's not a moment to think, it's just a glimpse into a corner of the subconscious of this nation and a strong sense of ill-conceived secrets of the past."


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