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Lab recalls the award for Watson's controversial DNA

NEW YORK – James Watson, a Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist who lost his job in 2007 for expressing racist views, was stripped of New York's several honors at the New York Laboratory he once conducted.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was responding to Watson's remarks in a television documentary that came out this month.

In the film, Watson said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since 2007 when he told the magazine he was "inherently grim from the perspective of Africa," because "all of our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is just like ours – where all testing does not say. "

In an interview in 2007, Watson said that while he hopes they are all equal, "people who have to deal with black staff will find that it's not true."

This monthly document documents that genes cause on average the difference between blacks and whites on IQ tests.

The lab, which marks the last remarks "convicted" and "unsubstantiated", stated that they had actually turned Watson's written justification and appeal from 2007. He said he had canceled three honorary titles, including an emeritus chancellor and an honorary trustee.

Watson has long been associated with the laboratory, became its director in 1968, the president in 1994 and the chancellor ten years later. The school in the lab is named after him.

Watson's son, Rufus, said on Friday in a telephone conversation that his father, who is 90 years old, was in hospital after a car crash in October, and his awareness of his neighborhood is "very minimal."

"My dad's statement could make it bigot and discriminatory," he said, but that's not true. "It's just his fairly narrow interpretation of genetic destiny."

"My dad has done his life in the lab, and now the lab is considered responsible," he said.

James Watson shared the Nobel Prize in 1962 with Francis Crick and scientist Maurice Wilkins for discovering in 1953 that DNA is a double helix, shaped like a long, gently twisted ladder. Breakthrough was the key to determining how genetic material works.

The double helix has become a universally recognized symbol of science, and Watson himself has become famous for his scientific circles.


The Associated Press Department for Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Science Department. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press

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