Remember James Watson. He won a Nobel Prize for his part in unravelling DNA.
He has just caused a furore in Britain. In a newspaper interview he said Western policies toward African countries were wrongly based on an assumption that that black people were as clever as their white counterparts when “testing” suggested the contrary. He told The Times of London that there is a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but “people who have to deal with black employees know this is not true.”
In a book just published Watson writes: “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”
Many groups in England were outraged by Watson’s remarks. The spokesperson for a black human rights group said: “It is astonishing that a man of such distinction should make comments that seem to perpetuate racism in this way. It amounts to fuelling bigotry and we would like it to be looked at for grounds of legal complaint.” The remainder of Dr. Watson’s British book tour has been cancelled.
Do you consider Dr. Watson’s comments racist?
Should they be part of an academic debate or should they be prohibited?
Today (Oct. 25) it was announced that Dr. Watson has resigned as Chancellor of the prestigious scientific laboratory on Long Island that he put on the academic map.