Friday 26 October 2007

Happy Retirement, Dr. Watson

Gone with the wind of controversy
The humanity in me entreats me to commiserate on the resignation-retirement of Dr. James Watson, the DNA pioneer from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory which he has headed for about 4 decades.
Last week, the board of the laboratory suspended the esteemed Nobel laureate from his administrative duties after the furore that erupted from his assertion that blacks were genetically inferior to whites.
I feel sorry for the fact that even if he had scientific proof of this assertion, he chose the wrong forum to publicise such a volatile and seemingly racist view – definitely not a newspaper interview whilst promoting a book – tact properly a recessive gene in this man.
Now, Dr. Watson is given to stirring up controversy, it is however debatable if he is genetically predisposed to rubbing people up the wrong way when he should have advanced his scientific prowess at discovering something else worthy of another Nobel accolade.
For instance, Dr. Watson was 34 when he was cited for the discovery of DNA amongst other esteemed colleagues and a pioneering lady would died, years earlier, 45 years on, one would wonder if he is resting on his laurels, because 4 people have achieved that accolade with Maria Skłodowska-Curie and Linus Pauling winning in two different fields of endeavour.
But, one should not do Dr. Watson down; as an academic, he has lead a very distinguished career, it is a shame that all that might end up being reviewed through the keyhole of an unguarded moment of a candid expression of views.
I wish Dr. Watson a great retirement, his singular work of achievement is helping people seek and attain a greater equality to opportunity and the great things to be enjoyed in this world and for that, we would be ever so grateful enough to forgive the hereditary strains of incipient racism.
Happy Retirement, Dr. Watson.

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