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Oct 19, 2007

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Suspends Dr. James Watson

  • The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) board of trustees suspended the administrative responsibilities of chancellor James D. Watson, Ph.D. The action was taken in response to remarks attributed to Dr. Watson in the October 14 edition of The Sunday Times in the U.K., according to the board.

    During the Times interview, Dr. Watson allegedly made statements that black Africans are less intelligent than other races.

    The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) subsequently issued a statement expressing outrage at Dr. Watson’s comments. “At a time when the scientific community is feeling threatened by political forces seeking to undermine its credibility, it is tragic that one of the icons of modern science has cast such dishonor on the profession,” the statement notes.

    “The scientific enterprise is based on the promotion and proof of new ideas through evidence, however controversial, but Dr. Watson chose to use his unique stature to promote personal prejudices that are racist, vicious, and unsupported by science.

    “While we honor the extraordinary contributions that Dr. Watson has made to science in the past, his comments show that he has lost his way. He has failed us in the worst possible way. It is a sad and revolting way to end a remarkable career.”

    What is your opinion on CSHL's suspension of Dr. James Watson's administrative responsibilities in response to his alleged racist comments published in the October 14 edition of The Sunday Times in the U.K.? Blog about it on our website.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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