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CSHL Revokes Watson's Remaining Honors

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has taken away the remaining honorary positions James Watson held there there, Stat News reports.

This, it adds, comes in response to Watson's failure in a new documentary to walk back prior racist statements he made. In 2007, Watson made a series of comments about ethnicity and intelligence, in particular "black people were less intelligent than white people" and that he we was "gloomy about the prospects of Africa." At the time, Watson was widely condemned and forced to retire as chancellor of CSHL.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Watson appears in a new documentary "American Masters: Decoding Watson" in which he says views on race and intelligence have not changed.

In a statement, CSHL says that Watson's views "are reprehensible, unsupported by science, and in no way represent the views of CSHL, its trustees, faculty, staff, or students. The Laboratory condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice." It then says it is "revoking his honorary titles of Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus, and Honorary Trustee."

"I believe there is very broad support among the faculty for the multiple steps that CSHL is taking in response to Watson’s horrific comments," Justin Kinney, a CSHL biologist, tells Stat News.

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