Nobel Scientist James Watson Stripped Of Titles For 'Reprehensible' Race Remarks

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007

The lab added: 'Dr Watson's statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students.

In 2007, he said he was "inherently gloomy" about Africa's prospects because Western policies towards the continent assumed Africans were as intelligent as Europeans.

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

In 1962 Dr Watson shared the Nobel prize with collaborator Francis Crick and scientist Maurice Wilkins for discovering in 1953 that DNA was a double helix, shaped like a long, gently twisting ladder.

Watson's new comments came in an on-camera interview with Mark Mannucci, producer of a documentary that aired last week on PBS as part of its "American Masters" series, which profiles individuals who have made a major contribution to American culture.

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 lab ejected Watson from his role as chancellor and from administrative duties in 2007 following previous racist remarks - even though he retracted and apologized for the statements.

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.

Michael Wigler, a veteran molecular biologist at the laboratory, said that Watson's views on race were not newsworthy in the first place.

James Watson co-discovered the DNA molecule structure. He also said he took no joy in "the difference between blacks and whites" and that "it's very bad, just like it's terrible for schizophrenics".

This time the laboratory is stripping him of his remaining honorary titles, including honorary trustee and chancellor emeritus.

In 2007, Watson was suspended from all of his positions held at the NY lab following a scandal centering around his claim about the "inherently gloomy" future of the African continent. But in 2014, Watson auctioned off his Nobel medal for $4.1 million, after years of being shunned by the scientific community.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was revoking all titles and honors from Watson, 90, who led the lab for many years.

The magazine also noted that Crick was quoted in the 1993 book Nobel Prize Women in Science as admitting, "I'm afraid we always used to adopt - let's say, a patronizing attitude towards her".