Elementary My Dear…Say Wha?

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There’s something undeniably sad about scientist James Watson‘s recent plunge into racism and disgrace. As you might have heard, the Nobel Laureate, credited with co-discovering DNA, told London’s Sunday Times Magazine recently that he was “inherently 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.”

Wow.

Watson has apparently become a bit loony in his old age and has made loose cannon statements before, but this one seems to be a new low. It’s just depressing when one of the smartest, most important thinkers of our lifetime starts talking like southern fire eaters, circa 1860. I mean, this is the guy who discovered DNA! The future basis of all medical science, right?

Well, thankfully, there’s a comedic silver lining in every doddering old man cloud. The ugliness of Watson’s ignorance should not be discounted, but the headline the Harvard Crimson ran in a follow-up story about the controversy (he spent time there as a prof) really just made us laugh out loud.

CRIMSON: Watson Surprised By Own Remarks

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2007/10/23/elementary-my-dearsay-wha/