Feb 26, 2009 | 35
Last night in a room with a double helix woven in the carpet, the cantankerous geneticist James Watson, Nobel Prize winner and provocateur—made clear his opinion of today's high school teachers: They're not too bright.
Watson, 80, was part of a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences that followed a screening of a new documentary called Naturally Obsessed, The Making of a Scientist. The film is about the trials and tribulations of graduate students in biochemist Lawrence Shapiro's x-ray crystallography laboratory at Columbia University in New York City. (We live-Twittered the event, so click here for our reports and real-time reactions from our followers.)
Feb 5, 2009 | 3
I got an invitation today to a film screening of Naturally Obsessed, The Making of a Scientist. The documentary, by Richard and Carole Rifkind, asks the question, "What does it take to produce the scientists we need to keep America competitive?"
That seems like an important question, and one to which Scientific American readers would no doubt like to have the answer. So I took a look at the invitation, and found out that the screening, on February 25, would also feature a panel discussion on the "state of scientific training in the U.S." Also worthwhile.
Then I noticed a name on the panel.
James D. Watson.
Yes, that James Watson, the Watson-Crick Nobel Prize-winning James Watson, the one who retired from his post at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories at the end of 2007 for comments he made about the intelligence of Africans. He told the Times of London's Sunday Magazine 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 [IQ and Standardized testing] says not really."
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