Friday, December 5, 2014

Wanna Buy A Nobel?

Apparently, James Watson has sold his Nobel Prize:

How much is a Nobel prize worth?
If you're James Watson, who shared a 1962 Nobel for his role in the discovery of the structure of DNA, it's worth about $4.76 million. That's how much his 23-carat gold medal fetched at auction in New York City on Thursday night (the price includes the buyer's premium).
The auction house Christie's said the medal, which went to an anonymous bidder, was the first ever sold by a living recipient, the Associated Press reported.
Watson, 86, was there to watch the auction with his wife and one of his sons, the New York Times reported. After the sale he said he was pleased, adding, "It's more money than I expected to give to charity."
He said some of the proceeds would go to the University of Chicago, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, and other charities, the paper reported.
Watson told Nature that selling his medal was aimed at redeeming his reputation, which had been tarnished by comments he made linking race and intelligence. In 2007, he was suspended from his job at Cold Spring Harbor Lab after furor erupted when he suggested that black people are less intelligent than white people.

It is refreshing to notice that a lot of people, despite their educational level, can see through the hollow pretense—can see through the extremely thin patina of intellectual sophistication with which unvarnished race supremacists attempt to conceal their deep-seated racial superiority complex and of course their latent bias. So, it was quite refreshing to note that decent people all over did not allow themselves to be browbeaten, intimidated or forced into silence by the fact that James Watson was a Nobel prize winner. The repercussions were unambiguous and encompassing (as it should be).

However, there are millions out there like James Watson—ever ready to chase some ambiguous stats to tortured, racially discriminatory overgeneralizations. So, I suppose no one ought to be surprised that Watson would of course have people willing to bid for and eventually secure (with vast sums) his tarnished Nobel. All you can hope for is that in the long run someone or something succeeds in getting these sorts of people to change some of their poisonous racist persuasions no matter how much they twist and turn trying to mount an "academic" defense.

Just think—Charles Darwin was a deplorable racist, and wrote incredibly racist things, but has that dampened the high regard he enjoys amongst some racists who want to cover themselves with the umbrella of science? Not by a long shot! I am not holding my breath anyway.

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