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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday December 02 2014, @10:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the come-here-I-need-you dept.

Nicholas St. Fleur writes at The Atlantic that in the sad final chapter to a career that traces back to racist remarks he made in 2007, James Watson, the famed molecular biologist and co-discoverer of DNA, is putting his Nobel Prize up for auction, the first Nobel laureate in history to do so. Watson, best known for his work deciphering the DNA double helix alongside Francis Crick in 1953, made an incendiary remark regarding the intelligence of black people that lost him the admiration of the scientific community in 2007 making him, in his own words, an "unperson". That year, The Sunday Times quoted Watson as saying that he felt “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.” Watson added that although some think that all humans are born equally intelligent, “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true.” Watson has a history of making racist and sexist declarations, according to Time. His insensitive off-the-cuff remarks include saying that sunlight and dark skin contribute to “Latin lover” libido, and that fat people lack ambition, which prevents them from being hired. At a science conference in 2012, Watson said of women in science, “I think having all these women around makes it more fun for the men but they’re probably less effective.” To many scientists his gravest offense was not crediting Rosalind Franklin with helping him deduce the structure of DNA.

Watson is selling his prized medallion because he has no income outside of academia, even though for years he had served on many corporate boards. The gold medal is expected to bring in between $2.5 million and $3.5 million when it goes to auction. Watson says that he will use the money to purchase art and make donations to institutions that have supported him, such as the University of Chicago and Watson says the auction will also offer him the chance to “re-enter public life.” “I’ve had a unique life that’s allowed me to do things. I was set back. It was stupid on my part,” says Watson “All you can do is nothing, except hope that people actually know what you are.”

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:35AM (#122078)

    "adopted by advantaged white families"

    Do adopted children get the same treatment as biological children? The same willingness to invest into their education (ie: tutors, etc...).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @12:41AM (#122081)

    Tutors, preschool, books, college tuition, school supplies, heck even cars and transportation expenses, the need to work, nutritional requirements (are they more likely to cook healthier foods for a biological child vs an adopted one, buy them fruits and vegetables and encourage them to eat right), etc...

    How are biological children treated differently and how may that factor into the equation.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 03 2014, @02:03AM (#122093)

      Are we talking adopted, or foster?

      Foster kids are taken in as a profit center for the home, and, no, they don't get equal treatment (in general.)

      Adopted kids, on the other hand, are often treated as well as biological children, and, on the whole - due to the selectivity of the adoption process vs pregnancy, the average adoptee is probably better off than the average biological child.

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:24PM

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Wednesday December 03 2014, @04:24PM (#122301) Homepage
    Adopted white kids in all-white homes might - and the kids may not even know they're adopted.
    Adopted two-non-white-parent kids in all-white homes quote probably can work out from an early age that they don't really fit in in every way.

    The whole study looks completely flawed, as there's *no control*. Nothing which isolates "race of child". If they start adding some figures for all-white kids adopted by two non-white parents, then that would go some of the way to being able to work out whether not visually fitting in makes you not socially fit in, in the familial and school environment.

    The fact that that study shows that asian kids, who if you look at the related studies often seem to over-perform, underperform under adoption implies that adoption has skewed things so much that if there is any signal, it's been lost in the noise.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.