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Repeated Racist Remarks Prompt Lab To Cut Ties With James Watson, Scientist Who Co-Discovered DNA Double Helix

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James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winner who co-discovered the double-helix structure of the DNA, has lost his honorary titles at the laboratory he once led for making repeated racist remarks.

Co-Discoverer Of DNA's Double Helix

James Watson along with Francis Crick proposed the idea of the double helix structure of the DNA in the 1950s. In 1962, Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on the molecular structure of nucleic acids.

Despite his accomplishments, Watson's views, particularly on gender and race, have stirred controversies.

The 90-year-old American scientist said in "American Masters: Decoding Watson," a PBS documentary which aired on Jan. 2, that genes cause a difference in the intelligence between white and black people in IQ tests.

Controversial Remarks

This was not the first time Watson made a controversial statement. In 2000, Watson caused controversy after he had suggested a link between skin color and libido, saying the skin pigment melanin boosts sex drive.

"That's why you have Latin lovers," he said. "You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient."

In 2007, he expressed another offensive view about racial gaps in intelligence during an interview with Britain's Sunday Times about Africa and black people.

"All our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - where all the testing says not really," the scientist said.

In another 2007 interview with magazine Esquire, Watson justified some Anti-semitism and praised the Ashkenazi Jews, saying they are more intelligent compared with other ethnic groups.

CHSL Strips Watson Of His Titles

CHSL is apparently fed up of the controversial remarks from the scientist.

The CSHL Board of Trustees terminated him as chancellor and relieved him from all his administrative duties following his 2007 remarks, but Watson retained his honorary titles chancellor emeritus, Oliver R Grace professor emeritus and honorary trustee until now.

CHSL said it now strips Watson of these titles following the airing of the PBS documentary earlier this month. In a statement, the laboratory described the scientist's personal opinions as unsubstantiated and reckless.

"The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice," CSHL said.

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