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‘Father of DNA’ stripped titles over racist utterances

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Nobel Prize-winning America scientist, James Watson has been stripped of his last honorary titles following deplorable remarks about race and intelligence.

The ‘Father of DNA’ featured in a documentary, American Masters: Decoding Watson, claimed that genes cause difference on IQ tests between blacks and whites. A comment he made in 2007.

Watson, 90, who alongside Francis crick and Rosalind Franklin, discovered DNA’s double helix structure won the Nobel Prize in 1962.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a research institute Dr Watson worked for in four decades, said the scientist’s remarks were reprehensible, unsupported by science.

The renowned scientist claimed that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa because our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.”

While expressing his hope for equality he further added, “People who have to deal with black employees found this is not true.”

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Mr Watson came under fire over his comments on race and was stripped of his titles of Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus and Honorary Trustee.

He then apologized saying, “I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted having said. There’s no scientific basis for such belief.”

His titles were reinstated after the apology, but CSHL is now stripping him of all the titles after saying that his views, made in 2007, has not changed.

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The research institute has distanced itself from the remarks giving out a statement that, “Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. James D. Watson expressed on the subject of ethnicity and genetics. Dr. Watson’s statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of (the laboratory), its trustees, faculty, staff or students. The laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.”

Mr Watson currently is in a nursing home recovering from a car accident and is reported to have minimal awareness of his surrounding.

He sold his Nobel Prize gold medal in 2014, making him the first receiver to do so.

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