Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Unperson: James Watson

From 11/28/14 Telegraph:
James Watson, the world-famous biologist who was shunned by the scientific community after linking intelligence to race, said he is selling his Nobel Prize because he is short of money after being made a pariah.
Mr Watson said he is auctioning the Nobel Prize medal he won in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, because "no-one really wants to admit I exist".
Auctioneer Christie’s said the gold medal, the first Nobel Prize to be sold by a living recipient, could fetch as much as $3.5m (£2.23m) when it is auctioned in New York on Thursday. The reserve price is $2.5m.
Mr Watson told the Financial Times he had become an “unperson” after he “was outed as believing in IQ” in 2007 and said he would like to use money from the sale to buy a David Hockney painting.
Mr Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for uncovering the double helix structure of DNA, sparked an outcry in 2007 when he suggested that people of African descent were inherently less intelligent than white people....

Mr Watson said his income had plummeted following his controversial remarks in 2007, which forced him to retire from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He still holds the position of chancellor emeritus there.

“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” he said.

As one of the comments points out:
Liberals have no problem believing that being gay is caused by genetics, but intelligence is not.

1 comment:

hga said...

He hasn't entirely become an unperson, his important, maybe still unique Molecular Biology of the Gen is still being published under his name in a 2013 7th edition.

And his Double Helix is still one of the definitive accounts that tells you how science is actually practiced, no matter how much the feminists whine about the sainted Rosalind Franklin, who had the misfortune of not making the discovery despite having the best data (her own), and dying 5 years later, a few years before it was time for Nobels.

That the publishers didn't cancel new editions of the first book mentioned is an encouraging sign.