Posted on October 29, 2007 at 10:36 PM
After decades of letting absurdities fall out of his mouth that have embarrassed the genetics community, James D. Watson, Nobel Laureate and the legendary co-discoverer of DNA’s double-helix shape, has finally called it quits. His resignation falls on the heels of his most recent racist remarks that there is scientific proof that Africans are genetically less intelligent. African’s haven’t been Watson’s only target. Women scientists are more “difficult” then men (he still refuses to acknowledge the role of Rosalind Franklin in the discovery of the structure of DNA). In 2003, he said that molecular biologists have a duty to devise gene therapies or screening tests to cure stupidity, and it would also be great if we could genetically engineer girls to be pretty. Perhaps his “risk-taking” personality is part of what made him an exceptional scientist and leader of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, but I can hear a collective sigh of relief from the damage control PR folks.