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source:http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5guA ... PAKEfaHtUA
Top US scientist Watson suspended by lab over 'racist' remarks
NEW YORK (AFP) — A US Nobel Prize winning scientist has been suspended from his administratives duties as chancellor of a New York lab after reportedly saying black people were less intelligent than whites.
"The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Board of Trustees decided to suspend the administrative responsibilities of Chancellor James D. Watson, PhD, pending further deliberation by the board," the lab said in a statement.
Watson, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962 for his part in discovering the structure of DNA, was in London for a book tour when an interview he gave to the Sunday Times sparked a furore.
The lab said in its statement that Waton's suspension "follows after the board's public statement yesterday disagreeing with the comments attributed to Dr Watson in the October 14, 2007 edition of The Sunday Times."
Those comments were Watson's "own personal statements and in no way reflect the mission, goals, or principles of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Board, administration or faculty," lab president Bruce Stillman added in a separate statement.
"Dr. Watson is not the president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was not speaking on behalf of the institution," he said.
"The Board of Trustees, administration and faculty vehemently disagree with these statements and are bewildered and saddened if he indeed made such comments.
"Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not engage in any research that could even form the basis of the statements attributed to Dr. Watson," Stillman added.
Watson told the British weekly that he was "inherently 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."
Earlier Friday Watson's publicist said he had pulled out of his British book tour and gone home.
Kate Farquhar-Thomson, head of publicity in the academic division of publishers Oxford University Press, said Watson left because he "felt that he needed to go back to the States" for discussions with his laboratory.
She could not confirm if the decision came because of a backlash over his comments, which prompted three organizations, including the Science Museum in London, to cancel his talks.
Watson, the 79-year-old chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York state, had been due to give a series of lectures promoting his new book "Avoid Boring People: Lessons From A Life In Science."