I hope I live to be 90 before all of my sins catch up to me


James Watson, 90, has had all of his honors from Cold Spring Harbor revoked. It turns out that documentary on PBS had quite an impact.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) unequivocally rejects the unsubstantiated and reckless personal opinions Dr. James D. Watson expressed on the subject of ethnicity and genetics during the PBS documentary “American Masters: Decoding Watson” that aired January 2, 2019. Dr. Watson’s statements are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students. The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.

When Dr. Watson expressed offensive views in 2007, CSHL’s Board of Trustees took immediate action to relieve him of all administrative duties at the Laboratory and terminated his status as Chancellor. Dr. Watson has not been involved in the leadership or management of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for more than a decade and he has no further roles or responsibilities at CSHL. In response to his most recent statements, which effectively reverse the written apology and retraction Dr. Watson made in 2007, the Laboratory has taken additional steps, including revoking his honorary titles of Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus, and Honorary Trustee.

Lucky Jim’s luck has run out at last.

Comments

  1. says

    Cue the FREEZE PEACH lobby losing their shit about how holding old white guys to account for their loathsome opinions is THE REAL RACISM 🙄

  2. wzrd1 says

    Oddly, despite some ill-performances everywhere. I never wanted attribution of, well, idiocy to not be laid upon my feet.
    Meanwhile, the entire subject remains ignored.
    But addressed by personal outrage.

  3. damien75 says

    They should not have given him these honors in the first place.

    What ? They just discovered his opinions because of that documentary ? Give me a break.

    They started to find Watson’s opinions nauseating when that documentary brought them up to the attention of a large public. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Now that he is falling they don’t want to be associated with him, but they are.

  4. damien75 says

    From the article : “When Dr. Watson expressed offensive views in 2007, CSHL’s Board of Trustees took immediate action to relieve him of all administrative duties at the Laboratory and terminated his status as Chancellor.”

    OK, I wrote too fast (anger). My bad. They did something.

  5. wzrd1 says

    Oh, @1, please don’t associate peaches, a fine fruit, with that asshole fruit.
    He’s long been an entirely different fruit, which is far from fragrant.
    Call him for what he’s always been, Krusty the Klown from Kell.

    As for my previous entry, entirely wrong screen/tab, my bad.

    @4, From the article : “When Dr. Watson expressed offensive views in 2007, CSHL’s Board of Trustees took immediate action to relieve him of all administrative duties at the Laboratory and terminated his status as Chancellor.”

    For once. He’s expressed offensive, unscientifically backed racist bullshit on rye, calling it a Reuben sandwich for years. It’s still bullshit on a shingle, always will be.
    The finally did something, long, long, long delayed.

  6. John Morales says

    wzrd1:

    Oh, @1, please don’t associate peaches, a fine fruit, with that asshole fruit.

    Jocular satirical mondegreenery is not your thing, is it?

    Krusty the Klown from Kell

    Ayup. Definitely not.

    I never wanted attribution of, well, idiocy to not be laid upon my feet.

    Re the OP, it’s rather amusing given the recent expression of the sentiment that “once a scientist, forever more a scientist” elsethread.

    Relax. You’ve achieved that goal.

  7. petesh says

    It’s worth remembering that Cold Spring Harbor itself was a — arguably the — center of the Eugenics movement in the US, from about 1920 to 1939, with horrendous influence on US and ultimately German policy. To be fair, since 1995 it has also hosted the Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement — they are, quite rightly, sensitive about the history and do not try to hide it. Watson was the Director from 1968 to 1993, so the connection was very deep and the repudiation particularly notable.

    PS I first wrote “whitewash” instead of “hide” but it felt wrong to me, so I “blackballed” it. Any constructive thoughts on either term, anyone?

  8. rydan says

    I’m really getting tired of this happening. Not white men getting their honors stripped but this whole, “everything’s OK until someone makes a documentary thing”. Absolutely nothing has changed. Why does PBS making a documentary about him suddenly result in his honors being stripped? Why not 40 – 50 years ago when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing?

  9. says

    John Morales:
    < blockquote>wzrd1:
    < blockquote>Oh, @1, please don’t associate peaches, a fine fruit, with that asshole fruit.
    Jocular satirical mondegreenery is not your thing, is it?
    And the ‘asshole’ is a fine body part without which….well have you seen the Mr Creozote scene in Monty Python The Meaning of Life??

  10. bryanfeir says

    @rydan:
    It wasn’t just ‘someone made a documentary’: I think the key phrase above is:

    In response to his most recent statements, which effectively reverse the written apology and retraction Dr. Watson made in 2007,

    In other words, back when they first relieved him of duties, they also got him to sign an agreement that allowed him to keep his honours as long as he didn’t bring the institution further into disrepute. He broke his end of the agreement by continuing to shoot his mouth off, so they pulled any remaining support they had of him.

    Granted, you could still make an argument that he’d already had credit extended to him a few times too many given his rather public pronouncements, but this particular case looks to be much more specific than just ‘someone made a documentary’, this was about breaking an agreement he had actually signed. The documentary was just rather public evidence of his breaking the agreement.

Leave a Reply