"James Watson, one of the world’s greatest living Nobel laureates — joint discoverer of DNA, titan of 20th-century science — leant in closer. “I’m really missing him,” he said. He was talking to me about the death of his friend, mentor and co-laureate, Francis Crick. I nodded sympathetically. “The existence of Francis was very important,” he said. Another compassionate nod. Why was Crick’s existence important? “Now that he’s dead,” Watson explained, “I think I’m brighter than anyone else.”Watson is an incorrigible joker - surely he couldn't have been mocking the earnest, bien-pensant Tom Whipple?
"To be clear, he meant “anyone else in the world”. And, suddenly, I felt a little less sympathetic.
"It has been a bad decade and an excellent week for James Watson. Since claiming in 2007 that people of African descent are less intelligent — or, as he puts it, being “outed as believing in IQ” — Watson says he has been shunned by the scientific community. He has lost positions on boards, lost income and been made an “unperson”.
"So, citing penury, he sold his Nobel.Things began to look up: not only did he get £3 million for it but its buyer, Alisher Usmanov, part-owner of Arsenal FC and the richest man in Russia, gave it back to him. Watson may get Usmanov’s sympathy. He doesn’t get mine."
|Tom Whipple - Times science correspondent|
We, of course, have our own decorations.
|Modelled after Stourhead house|
|Straggly maybe; it normally lives on the porch|
Here is the piece I did after the disgraceful 2007 attack on James Watson which started all this nonsense.