Nobel Prize

Lab strips DNA pioneer James Watson of honours for racist views

Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson has been stripped of his honours by his former laboratory after doubling down on controversial remarks he made on the relationship between race and genetics in 2007.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York said Watson's most recent comments in a 2018 documentary were "completely and utterly incompatible" with its mission .

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 scientist, who helped identify the double-helix structure of the DNA molecule, stated in the documentary that he still held on to that view.

CSHL relieved Watson of his duties after the 2007 episode and stripped him of his honorary titles on Friday, calling his opinions "unsubstantiated and reckless".

Watson won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1962 along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for discovering in 1953 that DNA was a double helix, shaped like a long, gently twisting ladder.

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