The Maverick James Watson

The Maverick James Watson

Here are thought provoking, sometimes politically incorrect, and always amusing, quotes and facts from, and about, the brilliant scientist, and Noble Prize winner, James Watson. Make of him what you will, but give credit where credit is due.

Watson spoke out against nuclear proliferation to President Ford.

“While a professor at Harvard University, Watson, along with 12 Faculty members of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology including one other Nobel prize winner, spearheaded a resolution for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.”

“In 2007 Watson said ‘I turned against the left wing because they don’t like genetics, because genetics implies that sometimes in life we fail because we have bad genes. They want all failure in life to be due to the evil system.’ We do not yet adequately understand the way in which the different environments in the world have selected over time the genes which determine our capacity to do different things. The overwhelming desire of society today is to assume that equal powers of reason are a universal heritage of humanity. It may well be. But simply wanting this to be the case is not enough. This is not science.”

“While speaking at a conference in 2000, Watson had suggested a link between skin color and sex drive, hypothesizing that dark-skinned people have stronger libidos. His lecture argued that extracts of melanin – which gives skin its color – had been found to boost subjects’ sex drive. ‘That’s why you have Latin lovers,’ he said, according to people who attended the lecture. ‘You’ve never heard of an English lover. Only an English Patient.’

“He has been quoted in The Sunday Telegraph 1997, as stating: ‘If you could find the gene which determines sexuality and a woman decides she doesn’t want a homosexual child, well, let her.’ The biologist Richard Dawkins wrote a letter to The Independent claiming that Watson’s position was misrepresented by The Sunday Telegraph article, and that Watson would equally consider the possibility of having a heterosexual child to be just as valid as any other reason for abortion, to emphasize that Watson is in favor of allowing choice.”

“In his memoir, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science, Watson describes his academic colleagues as ‘dinosaurs’, ‘deadbeats’, ‘fossils’, ‘has-beens’, ‘mediocre’, and ‘vapid.'”
http://www.amazon.com/Avoid-Boring-People-Lessons-Science/dp/0375727140

-The Harvard Crimson
-The Telegraph
-The Independent
Avoid Boring People:Lessons from a Life in Science, by James Watson

In my opinion, the people he is referring to, go into scientific fields because it’s what they are good at, not because they are necessarily passionate about science and discovery. I think the combined traits of passion, discipline, creativity and strength of character in one person is somewhat rare.

 

 

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Megan

Coffee. Beer. Climbing Tall Things.

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