Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hereditary, My Dear Watson?

James Watson, formerly of Cold Spring Harbor Lab made racist comments recently that made the news . Check out Dawn Eden's description of her meeting with him.

Then, please see this article which includes this telling quote:

"James Watson would have aborted his son if a genetic test had been available at the time warning that his child would be born with severe epilepsy.

"Any time you can prevent a seriously sick child from being born, it is good for everyone," Dr Watson told The Sunday Age. "Most mothers wouldn't want to have dwarfs."


"For instance, he believes abortions are acceptable where a foetus is found to be genetically inclined to homosexuality."

Then there is the whole question of how much credit should have gone to Rosalind Franklin for the discovery of DNA's Double Helix:

From Wikipedia:

"Watson's original title was to have been "Honest Jim," in part to raise the ethical questions of bypassing Franklin to gain access to her X-ray diffraction data before they were published. Watson seems to have never been particularly bothered by the way things turned out. If all that mattered was beating Pauling to the structure of DNA, then Franklin's cautious approach to analysis of the X-ray data was simply an obstacle that Watson needed to run around."

Or from Jewish Virtual

" In fact, many scientists believe Franklin played a larger role than previously acknowledged in the research that led to the 1962 Nobel Prize that was awarded to Maruice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson for the discovery of DNA's double helix.
Wilkins shared Franklin's data, without her knowledge, with Watson and Crick, at Cambridge University, and they pulled ahead in the race, ultimately publishing the proposed structure of DNA in March 1953."

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