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The Sad, Strange End of a Legacy


After some 40 years with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, James Watson retired today. It would've been nice to see this end some other way. But what will always be remembered about his retirement is that it came on the heels of a PR disaster that even the man's Nobel Prize and history of cringe-worthy (but somehow always forgiven) statements couldn't dampen.

In a statement sent from a Gmail account today, Watson announced that he has retired, effective immediately, from his position as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor lab. "Closer now to 80 than 79, the passing on of my remaining vestiges of leadership is more than overdue," he writes. He concludes, "I have been much blessed." You can read his full statement here.

There's also a release from Cold Spring Harbor, which you can read here.