Being a scientist does not save anyone from making mistakes. Even in their own field of study and even if we talk about biology scientists who made groundbreaking discoveries that brought us numerous answers our ancestors only dreamt to know about. In this article, we will take a look at the scientific contributions and mistakes of two of these scientists.
James Dewey Watson: Molecular Biology & Racial Scandals
James Dewey Watson (April 1928 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) – American biologist. Laureate of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – jointly with Francis Crick and Maurice H. F. Wilkins. The work on the structure of DNA that made James Watson famous was published in 1953.
Contributions: discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule
Watson continued his work on the study of DNA devoting a lot of time to decoding the human genome. He became the first person in the world whose genome was completely decoded. Watson was one of the first to publish his genome, claiming that by doing so he wants to give impetus to the development of a new era of personalized medicine.
Downside: erroneous racist statements
Back in 2007, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory freed the scientist from all of his administrative duties after he stated in a media interview that the intelligence of African people, according to tests, did not match the intelligence level of the Caucasians.
His words caused the scandal also in the documentary, which aired on one of the TV channels on January 2, 2019.
Watson stated that the IQ difference between Caucasoid and Negroids is determined by the gene’s differences, and that white people are definitely smarter than blacks.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in the United States stripped 90-year-old James Watson of the titles of Trustee Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, and Emeritus Leader after his claim of unequal intelligence across races.
Charles Darwin: Biology & Consanguinity
Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, traveler, geologist, biologist, and pioneer of the theory of the origin of life on Earth from a common ancestor, through the evolution of each species
Contribution: theory of evolution
Darwin was the author of the groundbreaking book “The Origin of Species”, the theory of the origin of man. He equated natural selection to the main mechanism of the evolution of species. Later he developed the theory of sexual selection. He also owns one of the first generalizing studies on human origins, the first ethological study “Expression of emotions in humans and animals” and the theory of the causes of evolution.
Darwin’s scientific works revolutionized the world of science. And of course, his ego-crushing theories were not accepted by everyone and still not. Despite the fact that Darwin’s conclusions had a natural percent of mistakes, his theory is still used as the main model of the evolutionary development of life on our planet.
Downsides: marriage with his cousin
In his personal life, Charles took the issue of marriage extremely seriously. He would write down on paper all the arguments for and against. And he made an unequivocal decision that it was necessary for him to get married. In 1839, his cousin Emma Wedgwood became the scientist’s wife. They had ten children and three of them died in childhood. Some of them were sickly and weak.
Darwin later saw the reason for these circumstances in his consanguineal relationship with Emma. Charles then reflected on the problem of closely related crosses and the advantages of distant crosses in some of his works. Nevertheless, Darwin’s descendants have achieved significant success in life. His sons George, Francis, and Horace were members of the Royal Society of England.
About the Author:
Zack Hargrove is a blogger. Many of his articles are dedicated to various topics of science. His colleagues from domycoding always look forward to assisting anyone with all sorts of coding difficulties.
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