James Watson, the Nobel Prize winner and co-discoverer of DNA, resigned from his position as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory after an uproar over remarks he made questioning the intelligence of blacks. It is not only recently that Watson has made such comments—in 2000, he told an audience at the University of California at Berkeley that African Americans are genetically prone to laziness, obesity, and have more active sex drives than whites. Furthermore, Esquire’s January edition of this year quoted Watson as condoning anti-Semitic remarks because “some anti-Semitism is justified.”
What is interesting is that those who have been crying foul over Watson’s recent remark don’t seem too upset over the scientist’s position on infanticide. He has long held that only an infant more than three days old should be considered a “person,” and suggested handicapped children should be killed at birth.
It sounds like in today’s society, offending blacks is cause for termination, but advocating the murder of babies won’t even raise any eyebrows. We’re glad that Watson is no longer at the helm of Cold Spring Harbor, but we think his exit should have been called for a long time ago.