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Nobel winner who called blacks stupid faces heat

October 18, 2007 17:06 IST

The Science Museum in the British capital has cancelled a talk by Nobel Prize winning scientist Dr James Watson after he was accused of making racist comments implying Africans were not as intelligent as whites.

Watson, who discovered the double helix structure of DNA along with Briton Francis Crick, has been condemned for saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "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 79-year-old American was due to talk at the Science Museum's Dana Centre on Friday but on Wednesday night a spokesman said Watson's comments had gone "beyond the point of acceptable debate and as a result the museum was cancelling the sold-out event, the Daily Telegraph claimed on Thursday.

The eminent American, in Britain to promote a new book, also said the assumption that different racial groups shared "equal powers of reason" was backed by "no firm reason".

However, he said people should not discriminate racially, because "there are many people of colour who are very talented."

His comments have been attacked by fellow scientists, anti-racism campaigners and politicians.

Watson has courted controversy before, saying darker-skinned people have a higher sex drive and that women should hypothetically have the right to abort foetuses that "may have a tendency to become homosexual."

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