Dr Watson - How the mighty fall

Discussion in 'Barracks' started by Kyt, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I read the ST article on Sunday and completely disagreed with what Dr Watson (of DNA fame) had to say about race. I thought it would raise some eyebrows but in the current climate of racial fragmentation it would be brushed under the carpet. I decided not to start a thread on this earlier because I was undecided as to whether I should give him even more publicity.

    However, and I have to admit I'm rather pleased, he completely misjudged the reaction(s) he'd get.

    The Sunday article:

    And the backlash:

    Museum drops race row scientist

    Festival bars race row scientist

    Lab suspends DNA pioneer Watson
  2. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    For an intellectual he is quite stupid.
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I have to admit that I never liked him ever since I discovered the way that he and Crick left out Rosalind Franklin, who shoudl have got equal recognition for the DNA work. And some of his other utterances on the "inferiority" of women have been just as bad as the comments above.
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I saw his comments briefly, rolled my eyes and moved on. Doesn't matter how many degrees and awards and published papers you've got, you can still be a moron.
  5. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Hmm, on the face of it he is being antagonistic for the sake of it - then i think and i see the same thing being done by my lecturers, albeit on a smaller scale, in order to stimulate discussion and arguments.
    I am not saying i agree with what he is saying about gender and race, i do not.
    But then again, why should someone be promoted purely for the colour of their skin?
    This is a nasty little one to figure out.
  6. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Flip that around and the question is equally valid - why should people be denied promotion purely because of the colour of their skin?
  7. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Honey, i don't give a damn what colour their skin is. if they can do the job they can have it. But then again if they cannot why should they be given the job merely for political correctness sakes?

    Like I said, a nasty little one to figure out what he is getting at.
  8. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    There are some strange occurrences at my daughters college who brought a few teachers from Indonesia to sponsor friendship between the two countries.

    The schools run a LOTE (Language other than English) scheme for Indonesian, French and Italian.

    The Indonesian teacher spoke beautifully in his own language but the children could hardly understand his English.

    What other subject did they give him to teach...........ENGLISH

    I thought that was bloody ridiculous and let my feelings known to the principal. My daughters education should not be jeopardised to satisfy the schools whim.

    Simply this person was not suitable/qualified for the subject he was teaching.
  9. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    Hi All
    Must confess I too find this a bit of a dilemma but must stress that I categorically do not agree with his reported comments.
    1. I haven't heard / read what he actually did say, only those that have been reported or misreported.
    2. I thought that part of the freedom, that so many paid so dearly for, was the right of free speech. The additional price of this is the distasteful garbage which springs forth from BNP, Abu Hanza and their ilk. I totally disagree with many viewpoints but would defend, in the main, the right to voice it. Freedom of speech isn't just a one way street.
    3. Doesn't it just give more power to the elbow of extremist groups when people are banned? Surely the better way to handle it is to challenge each ridiculous allegation.
    4. I always get very concerned when legitimate points of debate or areas of study are stifled for the sake of this dreadful phrase "political correctness".

    I take issue with Kyt about turning Kitty's argument on its head because two wrongs do not make a right and with reference to Spidge's comments in post 8, we shouldn't hesitate or feel embarrassed to rectify something stupid like this but it always seems to get turned around to engender feelings of guilt. I had a similar problem, when as a school governor I opposed the withdrawing of all Enid Blyton and William Shakespeare material from the school library.

    I do think that there is sometimes a very fine line between patriotism and racism and that part of the problem is that we have lost the ability to laugh at ourselves.

    My experience of examining studies across quite a wide range of topics is that to few are used in the sample to have any statistical significance and that many leaps of faith are made in reaching the conclusions. If Dr Watson's work fell within this category, then let it be exposed!!!!

    Hope that didn't offend anyone but I was exercising my right (perhaps it should be in the Rant 'n Rave thread!) too!!!

    Still confused about it all
  10. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Good point Sgt. However i have been thinking on this report and come to a few conclusions. And when my brain works again I will try and post them. But will probably forget.
  11. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    I've heard of schools wanting to ban Enid Blyton (fortunately they don't in this area; for all her faults the books are a lot less seditious than some of the other stuff my daughters pick up) - but is any Council really so PC as to want to ban Shakespeare?!
    Please tell me not!
  12. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

  13. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    I have had the Enid Blyton debate with teaching staff over the years. Much of the criticism of Blyton was that her writing is/was too simplistic "for today's children".

    Now it seems that changing literary history by using PC is going to alter the way people think. Banning her books is not the answer, educating children to the "unacceptable content" in this day and age should be the way to go and not hidden from view.

    Her writing reflected the era and as such is part of history.

    When will we ban the writings of Mark Twain and his "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"?

    Educate the children about history, don't alter it.
  14. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    It just seems sad to me that today's children are threatened with not being allowed to experience the uncomplicated world of Enid Blyton. Of course the world was never as perfect as it seems in those books, but children like that simplicity, just as they like fairy tales. They've plenty of time to encounter the real world of divorcing parents and teenage pregnancies that you get in the Jacqueline Wilson books.

    Probably the reason Harry Potter is so popular is precisely because they are essentially old-fashioned, none of the Socialist Realism that you get from Wilson et al.

    Of course, I grew up reading Biggles - good clean stuff about killing Germans! Do I introduce my daughters to them?! :confused:

    My eleven year-old has just started learning German at secondary school. Do I tell her the only German words I know, apart from Zwei bier, bitte, are words like Panzerkampfwagen, Jagdgeschwader, Oberst-Leutnant, EisenKreuz, etc.! (and I've probably spelt those wrong!) :nono:
  15. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein Member

    German...as she is spoke !

    Hi Adrian

    One of the problems of reaching a certain age is that whenever someone else mentions something to do with WW2 it instantly triggers off a memory of your own and your immediate response is "That reminds me ".

    That reminds me :)

    Many years ago, I was Production Controller for an offshoot of a large public company and I was based on the 3rd floor of a large building.The MD, who's office was on the top floor knew that I spoke a few languages and on one occasion asked me up to his office to do some German translation for him.

    Our conversation went something like this.

    'Ron, do me a favour, I've got this chap on the phone calling from Zurich. He's placed a large order for some girls tunics and he now wants to modify it. Instead of a Tunic top he wants crossover straps. I want you to tell him its not possible to alter the order at this late stage'

    My reply went something like tis :

    'Sorry Harold, my German is strictly of the Military kind. If you want me to ask him to come out with his hands up or he'll get a burst up his backside, then I'm your man, but if its to do with straps on girls tunics then I'm sorry but I'll have to pass!

    Cheers !

  16. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    You know, i had worked a really good discussion for the Watson interview, reading tween the lines at what i thought he was getting at and all that jazz. I finally get the puter fired up and i can't remember one damn bit of it. i give up on my brain.
  17. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    Sorry Adrian I should have said that it was nearly 30 years ago and it was the school governors not the council. The lady involved could not see how provocative it was to have national clubs which our children were not eligible to join whilst also being told (before they even asked) that they would not be allowed to set up an English club. Fortunately the proposal to ban the books was vetoed but the separate clubs were a source of aggravation for all of the time that I was involved. Whilst we should all remember and celebrate our heritage, I can't help feeling that one has to be careful not to make that divisive.

  18. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member


    I'm even worse - not old enough to remember WW2, but still enough of an old fossil to automatically link anything German with WW2 in my mind. But WW2 was fresh in the minds of my elders as I grew up, and of course my junior school reading matter was those Victor-type comic-strips about the war (which my Dad disapproved of, to give him credit). I don't even remember '66, though I was just about around at the time! Probably its a good thing my children don't make such connections.
  19. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης


    It's not just books that get banned or censored:

  20. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Oh good grief

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