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Lab Severs Ties with James Watson, with quotes "Inexplicable and ruthless" Notes

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory recalled honorary titles held by its long-time leader James D. Watson on Friday, which "unfairly and ruthlessly" describes his latest comments on genetic differences in intelligence among racial groups.

Dr. Watson, one of the most influential scientists in the 20th century, had apologized after making similar comments to a British newspaper in 2007. At that time, he had to retire from his job as chancellor at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Iceland, but he has kept his office there, as well as the titles of Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus and Honorary Administrator. The biological research school at the research center is called Dr. Watson and the laboratory held a 90th anniversary for him last spring.

Over the last decade, as well as much of the scientific community, the laboratory has engaged in a delicate balance sheet with regard to Dr. Watson: keep him in arm's length to reinforce unfounded racial stereotypes while honoring him for his contributions to science. Dr. Watson, with Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin, helped discover the DNA double helix structure in 1953, and he continued to help shape the subsequent revolution in molecular biology.

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But his recent comments "effectively reversing the written excuse and recall Dr. Watson made in 2007," and "requiring the separation of some remaining paths of his involvement," said Cold Spring Harbor Executive Director , Bruce Stillman, and its Chairman Marilyn Simons in a statement.

"It is not news when a 90-year-old man who has lost cognitive inhibition and has engaged so for decades that he is aging speaks of his current mind," wrote Dr. Wigler in an email. "It's not a moment of reflection. It's just a peek at a corner of this nation's subconscious, and a strong spot of its non-scaled past secrets. "

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