DNA Scientist Apologizes for Racial Uproar

Watson says he's "mortified," doesn't think Africa is inferior
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2007 7:50 PM CDT
US scientist and DNA discoverer James Watson poses for photographers behind a model of the 'DNA Double Helix', which was discovered by Watson and Francis Crick at an exhibition in Berlin in this Monday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – DNA pioneer James Watson apologized today for comments in which he implied that white people were smarter than black people, the AP reported. "I am mortified about what has happened," said Watson, who helped discover the structure of DNA but whose recent words brought international condemnation and scorn. "I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said."

The Guardian quoted Watson, 79, as saying that he feared for Africa because, while he wished all races were equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true." Today, Watson backtracked. "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly. That is not what I meant."