Scientist James Watson flies home after employers suspend him
Good riddance, I say. It is a right and bold step. Kudos to the institute.
The Nobel Laureate who provoked an international row by apparently claiming that black people are less intelligent than whites left Britain in disgrace yesterday after being suspended from his job.
James Watson, in London to promote a new book, was forced to return to New York after Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, relieved him of his duties because of his apparent views. It follows a hellish week for the 79-year-old geneticist who helped to unravel the structure of DNA more than 50 years ago.
After being quoted in The Sunday Times saying that he was “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”, Dr Watson added that he hoped everyone was equal, but that “people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true”.
Yesterday, the prestigious scientific institute where he has worked for 35 years issued a terse statement halting his responsibilities. It will come as a devastating and personal blow to Dr Watson who has served as the laboratory's director and president.