Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

Watson Promotes Preventative Eugenics

Last week Dr. James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the DNA structure, gave a very provocative talk at Harvard University where he recommended that the world embark on a program of preventative eugenics to eliminate the schizophrenia gene. He also…

  • March 7, 2005

Last week Dr. James D. Watson, the co-discoverer of the DNA structure, gave a very provocative talk at Harvard University where he recommended that the world embark on a program of preventative eugenics to eliminate the schizophrenia gene. He also suggested that mathematicians shouldn’t have children with other mathematicians.

I have a friend who was at the talk. She was shocked. But she was also surprised that nobody covered the talk.

Well, in today’s Harvard Crimson there is a brief article about Watson’s statements.


“I like to believe that we could find the right drug,” said Watson, who was part of the team that discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. “But my son can’t take care of himself…[we should] fight against genetic injustice.”

Apparently, Dr. Watson wishes that his son was never born.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.
Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

You've read of free articles this month.