Saturday, October 27, 2007

James Watson retires

I read the following article in the SF Cronicle. Interestingly, Watson is the second nobel winner that makes such a claim. (The first, was the Californian Physisist William Shockley. I remember listening to him making this claim in 1980 in a lecture at the University of Columbia-Missouri).

James Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA, announced his retirement Thursday after controversy erupted over comments he made suggesting that black people are less intelligent than whites.
"The passing on of my remaining vestiges of leadership is more than overdue," he wrote in a statement about his departure from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, which he joined as director in 1968 and helped build into one of the world's leading genetic research institutes. "The circumstances in which this transfer is occurring, however, are not those which I could ever have anticipated or desired."
Watson, 79, was quoted in the Sunday Times Magazine of London on Oct. 14 as saying 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."
He subsequently issued a statement saying, "There is no scientific basis for such a belief."

The full aricle.


  1. No one really bothered to carefully read his apology.

    "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

    He's saying that the physical landmass of Africa is not "generically inferior." Duh. Continents don't have genes.

    His apology said nothing about the IQ of sub-Saharan Africans, which was his original point.

  2. Interesting to know.