Watson Retires Amid Race Furor

Watson leaves job as Laboratory head
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2007 12:39 PM CDT
James Watson announced his retirement today, in the wake of racially-charged comments   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Amid outrage over recent racial remarks, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist James Watson is retiring as chancellor of Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the New York Times reports. Watson, 79, said his departure was overdue but admitted this wasn’t how he’d wanted to leave. The lab suspended Watson after he said that black people were  less intelligent than white.

Watson said he was “inherently gloomy” about 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.” He has since apologized unreservedly, saying the comments had no scientific basis. Watson won his Nobel for co-discovering the double-helix structure of DNA.