Friday, October 19, 2007

Why Jim Watson should shut the **** up

Over at SciAm Observations, Gary Stix brings in a new angle: the organization he once led and still belongs to.

... for the sake of the laboratory he did so much for as an administrator, that the man should keep his mouth shut about the social implications of genetics. What is today known as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was once at the center of the American eugenics movement, where it was home to the Eugenics Record Office from 1910 to 1939, at first under the tutelage of the infamous eugenicists Charles Benedict Davenport and Harry Laughlin.

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Sidebar: Watson has apologized 'unreservedly' "for comments reported this week suggesting that black people, over all, are not as intelligent as whites."

"I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said,” Dr. Watson said in a statement given to The Associated Press. “There is no scientific basis for such a belief."

The Sunday Times reported (in its entertainment section!):

[James Watson] says that he is “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really” ...

As P.Z. Myers notes, Watson is known to say "shockingly offensive and bizarre things." Earlier, Zuska had taken him to task for "continuing to spread outright lies about Rosalind Franklin after her death..." Guru has collected some links to reactions from other bloggers.

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I don't know if I can blame this video for my choice of words in the title of this post ;-)


  1. Anonymous said...

    He cannot understand how he said something like this but people who follow him can easily understand. He is a plain senile cheap racist and sexist.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Itz not new for Watson, poor chap.

    His more interesting finding was "dark skinned people have higher libidos" :)

    Hey Abi, thanks for linking one of my previous post.