The sheer vindictive nastiness of the Thought Police of Political Correctness has recently been shown yet again by their treatment of a very old, sick man who is also one of the World’s greatest living scientists, Professor James Watson.

Noble Prize-winning James Watson is stripped of honorary titles at lab

In 1953, Watson and his colleagues Maurice Wilkins and Francis Crick discovered the spiral helix structure of DNA, establishing it as the repository of genetic information in almost all living things on Earth. Their epochal work earned them a Nobel Prize in 1962.

As one of the world’s most eminent geneticists, Watson was showered with promotions and honours.  In 1968 Watson began serving as Director of the world-leading Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, subsequently assuming the roles of President and Chancellor thereof.

For nearly forty years Professor Watson pursued a distinguished career at that Laboratory, which for a long time was understandably proud to be associated with him. However, the noose of Politically Correct totalitarianism was tightening imperceptibly.

In the eyes of the PC Thought Police Watson’s crime was to uphold the view, shared – though ever less openly! – by most geneticists that human intelligence is primarily determined by genetic inheritance and that such innate genetic differences are at the root of much of the differences in average intelligence repeatedly revealed between genetically distinct human populations or races.

This was once uncontroversial. A very large number of independent studies over many years confirmed the reality of average differences in intelligence between races, with Australian aborigines lowest, Negroes in both Africa and America somewhat higher and Whites higher still, with Mongolid East Asians, Chinese and Japanese having the highest average intelligence. These measured IQ and other intelligence metric differences correlate well, indeed very obviously, with the historical, cultural and current performances of the ethnic groups concerned. Books such as Oxford Professor John Baker’s 1974 study Race, and Herrnstein and Murray’s 1994 The Bell Curve, give chapter and verse of the evidence in this area.

But as the jackboot of Political Correctness ground ever harder on the world of science, one by one experts in this field fell silent, or even, in fear for their careers, began parroting the desired liberal orthodoxy. The evidence of innate racial differences in mind as well as body was not disproved, the old studies which had supported such conclusions were not supplanted by later ones proving them wrong. Instead research in this area simply stopped. Or was stopped.

It is now impossible to get any sort of research grant for a scientist to investigate this field, and career-ending to try. It would be very difficult for a book like Race or The Bell Curve to find a major publisher today. What few research papers still venture into publication in obscure journals such asPersonality and Individual Differences and Intelligence, both from scientific publisher Elsevier, continue to support these innate differences, but are simply not mentioned beyond nervous whispers in college common rooms.

Professor Watson, however, had the courage to carry on speaking the truth about an area on which he was, after all, one of the world’s greatest experts.  In October 2007, Watson said to the Sunday Times that he was “gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.”

He later waded into even more dangerous territory, suggesting that anecdotal reports said that black employees were less intelligent, and that there were no talented black scientists who could be recruited to work in his laboratory.

Clearly this could not be tolerated, and Professor Watson was summarily sacked from all his academic posts and seats on the boards of biotech companies. To damp down the ensuing outcry, he was fobbed off with meaningless honorary titles from Cold Spring:  Chancellor Emeritus, Oliver R. Grace Professor Emeritus and Honorary Trustee.

But his income dried up and he was reduced to penury in his old age. In 2014 he told the Financial Times “Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income. No one really wants to admit I exist.” To make ends meet he was reduced to selling his Nobel Prize Medal.

Never the less this brave, honest old scientist was unbowed. Filmed last summer in the PBS documentary American Masters: Decoding Watson, he stuck to his guns and upheld the truth.

Asked whether his views about race and intelligence had changed, he forthrightly replied: “Not at all. I would like for them to have changed, that there be new knowledge that says that your nurture is much more important than nature.” But there isn’t, so he went on “There’s a difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests. I would say the difference is, it’s genetic.”

This temerity could not be tolerated. Even though Professor Watson was subsequently injured in a car accident in October and is sadly now in an almost vegetative state, Cold Harbour responded by vindictively stripping him of all the honorary posts and titles earned in sixty years of world-leading research, describing the views of probably the greatest living expert in this field as “unsubstantiated and reckless”. Their institution“condemns the misuse of science to justify prejudice.”  Although the considered opinion of a world authority based on decades of research, whether or not they agree with it, or dare admit they do, is hardly by any standard “prejudice”.

Sundry Politically Correct jackals then ran up to yap at the fallen lion, who was conveniently now no longer able to reply to them. One Dr Francis S. Collins, who no doubt is keen to remain Director of the US Government National Institutes of Health, said he was “unaware of any credible research” behind Watson’s “scientifically unsupported and hurtful beliefs”, revealing himself as either incredibly ignorant for one in his position or a coward and a liar.

This contemptible treatment of a sick but brave and honest old scientist standing up for the truth against a tyrannous official ideology will hopefully be judged by history with that meted out to Galileo for saying that the Earth goes around the Sun. When Politically Correct dogma on race is one with the Ptolemaic epicycles Copernicus and Galileo refuted, the name of DNA pioneer Dr. James Watson will still be remembered in honour. A great scientist and a brave and honest man.

Ian Freeman

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