Nobel Prize Winner James Watson Stripped Of Title Over Racist Comment

In 2007 Dr Watson said he was 'inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa'

American scientist James Watson, who won a Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking work into the DNA, has been stripped of his last honorary titles after making further controversial comments about race.

In 2007 Watson told the Sunday Times that he was "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 Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice", its statement added.

He went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1962 with Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick.

"Not at all", he said in the PBS documentary American Masters: Decoding Watson, the New York Times reported.

In the 2007 interview, Watson said that while he hopes everyone is equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true".

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was revoking Watson's honorary titles, which include chancellor emeritus, Oliver R Grace professor emeritus, and honorary trustee.

The Times reported that Watson's family said he was unable to respond, having been in medical care since a auto accident in October.

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He claimed the differences in intelligence between black and white people was borne out by their average scores in IQ tests.

Mr Watson had always been associated with the lab, becoming its director in 1968, its president in 1994 and its chancellor 10 years later.

Watson has long expressed questionable views, including a 1997 interview in which he expressed unreserved support for abortion rights - something that might have been relatively uncontroversial had he not specifically mentioned fetuses determined to have hypothetical genes leading to homosexuality, dyslexia, or a lack of musical or sports talent as valid reasons to terminate a pregnancy.

In the documentary he admitted that his views on race and intelligence had not changed - "not at all".

In February 1953, a jubilant Dr Crick walked into The Eagle pub in Cambridge, the local for scientists at the University's Cavendish Laboratory, and proclaimed he and Dr Watson had "found the secret of life". "Nonetheless, the statements he made in the documentary are completely and utterly incompatible with our mission, values, and policies, and require the severing of any remaining vestiges of his involvement".

"I believe there is very broad support among the faculty for the multiple steps that CSHL is taking in response to Watson's horrific comments", CSHL biologist Justin Kinney told STAT.

Dr Watson sold his gold medal in 2014, saying he had been ostracised by the scientific community after his remarks about race.

But leading geneticists say that even modern DNA studies are now unable to validate such hypotheses about differences between human populations.

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