Scientist Apologizes for Hurtful Remarks

Oct 18, 2007 By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer
Scientist Apologizes for Hurtful Remarks (AP)
US scientist and DNA discoverer James Watson poses for photographers behind a model of the 'DNA Double Helix', which was discovered by Watson and Francis Crick at an exhibition in Berlin in this Monday, Oct. 11, 2004 file photo. Watson scientist who won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the molecular structure of DNA has caused an uproar in Britain by reportedly saying tests have indicated that Africans are not as intelligent as whites. A British government minister, scientists and a human rights activist condemned James Watson's comments as racist, and London's Science Museum canceled his speech, which had been scheduled for Friday Oct. 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

(AP) -- James Watson, the 79-year-old scientific icon made famous by his work in DNA, has set off an international furor with comments to a London newspaper about intelligence levels among blacks.



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x646d63
4 / 5 (2) Oct 18, 2007
People react badly to such things because information like this has historically been used to oppress people--not to further social development. Today, few believe that someone can generalize an entire race and not be a racist.

Maybe if we ever get to a place in this world where everyone is treated with the same dignity and respect by everyone, we can then study why some are more "successful" or "intelligent" by whatever biased metric we are using. But until everyone feels like the respect they receive is independent of their physical characteristics, ancestry, or other attributes, information like this is completely useless.
bmcghie
3 / 5 (2) Oct 18, 2007
I don't know whether to cry or laugh when I read rubbish like this. Who cares what the man said? So, maybe he worded it poorly. His track record indicates this may not be the whole story. Regardless, take his research data, and listen to his scientific ideas. Just don't bother asking him about implementing social programs if his comments bother you that much. Seriously, he's a scientist, not a polititian. If he trips over the line instead of walking it gracefully... just fast forward that part of the lecture. More importantly, I didn't hear ANY mention of a sound byte. All we have to condemn him is one unverifiable quote... People get too bent out of shape over the little things these days.
Argiod
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2007
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy; when will you learn to keep your personal opinions out of the scientific realm? This could be the end of an otherwise glorious career. What were you thinking Mr Watson? And, why didn't you keep your bigoted thoughts to yourself? Freedom of speech is an advertising gimmik, not to be taken so seriously. It certainly does not give you the right to shout 'Theater' in a crowded fire.