Yesterday, I alluded to racist statements made by James Watson, regarding the inability of africans to measure up to other persons in the intelligence arena.
Today, I see that he has been suspended from “the administrative responsibilities” of his posting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, due to the board’s “disagreeing with the comments…”
This is a travesty. James Watson is a renowned scientist, and a dope. But being a dope isn’t illegal, and if we expect non-dopes to be able to present opinions without them being trashed perfuctorily, the dopes have to be allowed the same privilege.
I have no personal knowledge of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, but I doubt that if Dr. Watson were merely a ranking scientist (rather than the head of the lab) that he would have been suspended from his job. Thus, politics. The board cannot permit a person with undeniable scientific gravitas to say stupid things in public. I think a better approach would be to insist that Dr. Watson present the evidence for his case, and if that cannot be found, then insist he back off on his racist comments. Cold Spring Harbor could advertise to the world that they are such a powerful scientific organization, they don’t hold stupid comments against even their most visible members.
Or they could just drag him out at dawn and shoot him in the career. Whichever.