December 3, 2007
So has Jim Watson seen this yet ?
Watson, the famous co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, was in the news recently for suggesting that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” as “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.” The outrage that these rather ridiculous remarks educed, ensured that he quit his position as head of the Cold Spring Harbor Lab.
Besides the fact that “intelligence” just like “Africa” is no monolith but encompasses a myriad different qualities, anyone who is even remotely familiar with literary masterpieces by Tutuola, Achebe, Soyinka, and others, or has seen Sahelian architecture, or heard the polyrythm in African music, would have known immediately that Watson had lost his mind. This talk by Ron Eglash reinforces just that.