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‘Racist’ DNA discoverer forced to sell Nobel Prize medal

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The geneticist James Watson, who has been ostracized since public comments about black African IQ in 2007, is to auction off his 1962 prize for discovering the structure of DNA. It is expected to fetch in excess of $3 million.

 

“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” said the scientist of the aftermath of the incident seven years ago, which forced him to retire from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where he had worked for four decades.

 

In October 2007, Watson said to the Sunday Times that he was “gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.”

 

He later waded into even more dangerous territory, suggesting that anecdotal reports said that black employees were less intelligent, and that there were no talented black scientists who could be recruited to work in his laboratory.

 

While Watson’s racial theories of IQ have some academic support, such as in Richard J. Herrnstein’s and Charles Murray’s controversial book 'The Bell Curve,' this remains one of the most contentious areas of scientific research. Following Watson’s crude remarks, most of the scientific community turned on him, accusing him of prejudice.

 

It is a charge he rejects to this day.

 

“I am not a racist in a conventional way,” he told the Financial Times.

 

“I apologize...the [sunday Times] journalist somehow wrote that I worried about the people in Africa because of their low IQ – and you're not supposed to say that.”

 

http://rt.com/news/210059-watson-dna-nobel-racist/

 

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I think James Watson's problem is that he doesn't understand what IQ tests are.  They don't actually test your intelligence, but how well you have learned to express the world according to Western scientific metaphors and mythemes.  According to these IQ tests, Working Class children are less intelligent than the children of middle class professionals.  They aren't really, but the middle class children have been brought up speaking the language the IQ tests are written in (which is the only language the designers of IQ tests speak - since they were also the children of middle class professionals) and the working class children are effectively being asked to do a test in a foreign language.  As Professor Steven Jay Gould has pointed out, these IQ tests are not to be regarded as socially neutral, but as part of the régime for keeping privilege within certain class groups.

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