Nobel Prize Winner James Watson Stripped Of Title Over Racist Comment

The 90-year-old geneticist lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007

Mr Watson had always been associated with the lab, becoming its director in 1968, its president in 1994 and its chancellor 10 years later.

However, the laboratory's decision to revoke Watson's honours and titles is the result of American Masters: Decoding Watson, a PBS documentary that aired in the United States earlier this month.

The lab said it was reacting to Mr Watson's remarks in a television documentary aired earlier this month.

The laboratory, calling the latest remarks "reprehensible" and "unsupported by science", said they effectively reversed Watson's 2007 written apology and retraction.

A Nobel Prize-winning American scientist who co-discovered DNA has been stripped of his honorary titles at the laboratory he once led after repeating racist comments in a documentary.

The graduate school of biological sciences at the research center is named for Watson, and the laboratory held a 90th birthday party for him in the spring.

Watson, with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, helped discover the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953, and he went on to help to shape the subsequent revolution in molecular biology.

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.

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He also said that while he wished the races were equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".

The remarks are the latest in a series of racist and homophobic statements that have tainted Watson's career, CNN reported.

This time the laboratory is stripping him of his remaining honorary titles, including honorary trustee and chancellor emeritus.

In the film, Watson references a view that average IQ differences between blacks and whites reflect underlying genetic differences shaped by natural selection.

In 1997, Britain's Sunday Telegraph quoted him as saying that women should be allowed to abort a child for any reason, such as if a gene for homosexuality were found in the fetus.

In that interview, Watson said that his views had not changed and he had not "seen any knowledge" negating his belief that there is a genetic connection between race and intelligence, the Times wrote. He also suggested in 2000 that there might be a link between a person's weight and ambition, and between an individual's skin color and sexual prowess, Gizmodo reports. Watson, Crick and another British scientist, Maurice Wilkins, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962.

In an interview with the news agency, his son Rufus said Dr Watson's statements "might make him out to be a bigot and discriminatory" but that was not true.

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