DNA pioneer James Watson has final honours stripped amid racism row

The Independent

Eminent geneticist James Watson has had the last of his honorary titles stripped from him after doubling down on controversial statements about race and intelligence. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, has been embroiled in controversy for more than a decade.

In 2007 he lost his job at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory for making racist remarks, but retained three honorary titles there including chancellor emeritus. However, following a new documentary in which he said these views had not changed, and told interviewers genes were responsible for a difference in average IQ between black and white people, they decided to take further action. Describing the remarks as “reprehensible” and “unsupported by science”, the lab said they effectively undermined an apology issued by the scientist following the original controversy.

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