If you’ve ever wanted a Nobel Prize, you can bid on one: James Watson is auctioning his off, with a starting bid of $2.5 million dollars.
He says he needs the money.
But really, it’s the most pitiful, pathetic whine. He’s distressed and resentful that he became an intellectual pariah with a series of racist and sexist lectures; he claimed that darker skin colors were associated with higher libido (isn’t that just classic racism?) and that Africans are genetically inferior and of lower intelligence than white people. I once had a very uncomfortable dinner with him in which he explained to me how the Scots/Irish people were superior human beings.
Mr Watson – who insisted he was “not a racist in a conventional way” – said it had been “stupid” of him to not realise that his comments on the intelligence of African people would end up in an article.
“I apologise . . . [the journalist] somehow wrote that I worried about the people in Africa because of their low IQ – and you’re not supposed to say that.”
In 2007, the Sunday Times ran an interview with Dr Watson in which he said 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”.
He told the newspaper people wanted to believe that everyone was born with equal intelligence but that those “who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
Sounds like an entirely conventional racist to me. Now he regrets that he said those things out loud, not because he has changed his mind, but because all of his lecture invitations have dried up and no company wants a barking racist on their board.
Mr Watson said his income had plummeted following his controversial remarks in 2007, which forced him to retire from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He still holds the position of chancellor emeritus there.
“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” he said.
Poor, poor man…wait. Only his academic income? He’s a very senior faculty member at a prestigious institution, and I suspect he’s got plenty of cash socked away in investments, after decades on the boards of various companies.
He would also use some of the proceeds to buy an artwork, he said. “I really would love to own a [painting by David] Hockney”.
A Hockney can cost millions of dollars. Poor people don’t talk about desperately seeking quick cash so they can buy a valuable painting to hang in their hovel.
By the way, Watson is also an atheist.