Watson’s Error

23 October 2007

Returning from my short break, I was catching up on news reading etc when I saw James Watson making the headline, for the wrong reasons.

Already a controversial figure, through various remarks that he had made over the years, this time it seems like he’s going too far. I wonder though, if this latest saga is a combination of silly remark, fuelled by the lack of political correctness, that made it such a combustible situation that even warranted him losing his position in the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory.

Even relatively recently, while promoting his book (ok, I admit he’s the Nobel Prize winner that I mentioned to have met and not warmed to recently), he said something that I found to leave a bitter aftertaste amongst the audience. In fact, through one remark or another, I think he managed to offend everyone, but most just wrote them off as “Watson’s eccentricity”.

When he said women are basically wasting their time in scientific research (*sarcasm mode* of course, when he took the credit and glory of another woman’s work without attributing it to her intelligence but snided that she should have done better in moving ahead of the race) along with squandering the resources, I just tuned out because I didn’t want to end up leaving in the middle of the talk because I was annoyed.

What’s next for Watson? I don’t quite know.

By the way, here is the original article published by Times Online that started the wheel of motion rolling.


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