Watson Retires From Cold Spring Harbor Lab

From Science:

Watson Ten days after sparking controversy with comments on race and intelligence, James Watson today announced that he is retiring as chancellor of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in Long Island, New York. The decision appeared to be the result of negotiations between Watson and the lab’s Board of Trustees, which suspended him from the chancellor’s post last week. The 79-year-old Nobelist, who has led the lab in various capacities for nearly 40 years, will continue to live on the CSHL campus.

Watson was widely condemned after The Sunday Times quoted him on 14 October as saying 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.” Watson subsequently apologized, but the damage had been done. London’s Science Museum canceled a talk he was supposed to give on 19 October; CSHL’s board issued a public statement rejecting Watson’s remarks and suspended him.

Watson cut short his tour of the United Kingdom, where he was traveling to promote his new book Avoid Boring People, and returned to Cold Spring Harbor to deal with the fallout. “I’m going home to try to save my job,” British press reports quoted him as saying before his departure. Board members were engaged in negotiations about his fate, a trustee told ScienceNOW.

More here.