Geneticist James Watson won the Nobel Prize for co-discovering the structure of DNA. But in 2007, he sparked outrage when he suggested that African blacks were genetically inferior to European whites. Echoing the arguments of scientific racists from the past, Watson claimed that black inferiority was due to evolution, explaining: “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.” Watson was widely condemned for his comments, both inside and outside of the scientific community. It was an indication of how times have changed.
For more information:
“Fury at DNA pioneer’s theory: Africans are less intelligent than Westerners” (Article/The Independent)
“Nobel-winning biologist apologizes for remarks about blacks” (Article/CNN.com)
“Science museum bans DNA genius at centre of race row” (Article/Daily Mail)
“Disgrace: How a giant of science was brought low” (Article/The Observer)