Business Standard

DNA pioneer stripped of honours over racist comments

IANS  |  Washington 

A Nobel Prize-winning American who co-discovered has been stripped of his honourary titles after repeating racist comments in a documentary.

James Watson, who discovered the double-helix structure of alongside in the 1950s based on the work of British Rosalind Franklin, said in a PBS film that genes cause a difference in intelligence between white and black people in IQ tests, reported on Monday.

The 90-year-old's comments were labelled "reprehensible" by the (CSHL) on New York's Long Island, where Watson had been the from 1968 to 1993.

Tlaboratory said on Sunday that it "unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. expressed", noting the statements were "reprehensible (and) unsupported by science".

"The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice," it added.

Watson has not yet issued a comment on the development.

Watson previously told Britain's newspaper in 2007 that he was "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".

The added that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true".

Those comments led CSHL to relieve him of his administrative duties, but he retained his honourary titles until now.

While Watson apologised for the comments in 2007, he said in the PBS documentary "American Masters: Decoding Watson", which aired on January 2, that his views had not changed.

The remarks are the latest in a series of racist and homophobic statements that have tainted Watson's career, reported.

In 1997, Britain's quoted him as saying that women should be allowed to abort a child for any reason, such as if a gene for homosexuality were found in the foetus.

During a lecture tour in 2000, he suggested there might be links between a person's weight and their level of ambition and between skin colour and sexual prowess.

In a British TV documentary that aired in 2003, Watson suggested stupidity was a genetic disease that should be treated.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 08:54 IST