Frasi di James Dewey Watson

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James Dewey Watson

Data di nascita: 6. Aprile 1928

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James Dewey Watson è un biologo statunitense, scoprì la struttura della molecola del DNA insieme a Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, e Rosalind Franklin. Ricevette anche il Premio Nobel per la medicina nel 1962 assieme al suo compagno per le scoperte sulla struttura molecolare degli acidi nucleici e il suo significato nel meccanismo di trasferimento dell'informazione negli organismi vivente, ignorando e negando però il contributo fondamentale della dottoressa Franklin, gesto che gettò un'ombra indelebile sull'etica scientifica.

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Frasi James Dewey Watson

Pubblicità

„Never postpone experiments that have clearly defined future benefits for fear of dangers that can't be quantified. Though it may sound at first uncaring, we can react rationally only to real (as opposed to hypothetical) risks.“

— James D. Watson
Context: When anti-DNA doomsday scenarios failed to materialize, even the modestly restrictive governmental regulations began to wither away. In retrospect, recombinant-DNA may rank as the safest revolutionary technology ever developed. To my knowledge, not one fatality, much less illness, has been caused by a genetically manipulated organism. The moral I draw from this painful episode is this: Never postpone experiments that have clearly defined future benefits for fear of dangers that can't be quantified. Though it may sound at first uncaring, we can react rationally only to real (as opposed to hypothetical) risks. "All for the Good: Why genetic engineering must soldier on" in TIME magazine, Vol. 153, No. 1 (11 January 1999) http://www.mindfully.org/GE/Soldier-On-James-Watson.htm

„I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting. I have never been one to shy away from stating what I believe to be the truth, however difficult it might prove to be. This has, at times, got me in hot water. Rarely more so than right now, where I find myself at the centre of a storm of criticism. I can understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was quoted as saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief. I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be. This is why genetics is so important. For it will lead us to answers to many of the big and difficult questions that have troubled people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But those answers may not be easy, for, as I know all too well, genetics can be cruel. My own son may be one of its victims. Warm and perceptive at the age of 37, Rufus cannot lead an independent life because of schizophrenia, lacking the ability to engage in day-to-day activities.

„I'm not good enough to do something I dislike. In fact, I find it hard enough to do something that I like.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Never do anything that bores you. My experience in science is that someone is always telling to do something that leaves you flat. Bad idea. I'm not good enough to do something I dislike. In fact, I find it hard enough to do something that I like. … Constantly exposing your ideas to informed criticism is very important, and I would venture to say that one reason both of our chief competitors failed to reach the Double Helix before us was that each was effectively very isolated.

Pubblicità

„Perhaps, as my former colleague Francis Crick suggested, no one should be thought alive until about three days after birth“

— James D. Watson
Context: Watson: But legalities aside, I think we must reevaluate our basic assumptions about the meaning of life. Perhaps, as my former colleague Francis Crick suggested, no one should be thought alive until about three days after birth.

„For all my life, America was the place to be.“

— James D. Watson
Context: For all my life, America was the place to be. And we somehow continue to be the place where there are real opportunities to change the world for the better. I'm basically a libertarian. I don't want to restrict anyone from doing anything unless it's going to harm me. I don't want to pass a law stopping someone from smoking. It's just too dangerous. You lose the concept of a free society. Since we are genetically so diverse and our brains are so different, we're going to have different aspirations. The things that will satisfy me won't satisfy you. On the other hand, if global warming is in any way preventable and it's likely to come, not doing something would be irresponsible to the future of our society.

„To have success in science, you need some luck.
But to succeed in science, you need a lot more than luck.“

— James D. Watson
Context: To have success in science, you need some luck. But to succeed in science, you need a lot more than luck. And it's not enough to be smart — lots of people are very bright and get nowhere in life. In my view, you have to combine intelligence with a willingness not to follow conventions when they block your path forward.

„Moving forward will not be for the faint of heart.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Moving forward will not be for the faint of heart. But if the next century witnesses failure, let it be because our science is not yet up to the job, not because we don't have the courage to make less random the sometimes most unfair courses of human evolution. "All for the Good: Why genetic engineering must soldier on" TIME magazine, Vol. 153, No. 1 (11 January 1999)

Pubblicità

„Science Ph.D. students have effectively become serfs.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Science Ph. D. students have effectively become serfs. And who would become a serf when you can work for Goldman Sachs and get paid $300,000 a year to become a serf? Why drive a Chevy when you can drive a BMW — and now you're condemned to driving a car from Malaysia or something. Life should be fun. "Dr. James Watson Follows His Own Advice" in Seattlest (28 September 2007) http://seattlest.com/2007/09/28/dr_watsoncontro_2.php

„The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe.“

— James D. Watson
Context: The brain is the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. The brain boggles the mind. Foreword for Discovering the Brain (1992) by Sandra Ackerman, p. iii; often paraphrased: "The brain is the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe."

„To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting. I have never been one to shy away from stating what I believe to be the truth, however difficult it might prove to be. This has, at times, got me in hot water. Rarely more so than right now, where I find myself at the centre of a storm of criticism. I can understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was quoted as saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief. I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be. This is why genetics is so important. For it will lead us to answers to many of the big and difficult questions that have troubled people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But those answers may not be easy, for, as I know all too well, genetics can be cruel. My own son may be one of its victims. Warm and perceptive at the age of 37, Rufus cannot lead an independent life because of schizophrenia, lacking the ability to engage in day-to-day activities.

„Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting.“

— James D. Watson
Context: Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting. I have never been one to shy away from stating what I believe to be the truth, however difficult it might prove to be. This has, at times, got me in hot water. Rarely more so than right now, where I find myself at the centre of a storm of criticism. I can understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was quoted as saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief. I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be. This is why genetics is so important. For it will lead us to answers to many of the big and difficult questions that have troubled people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But those answers may not be easy, for, as I know all too well, genetics can be cruel. My own son may be one of its victims. Warm and perceptive at the age of 37, Rufus cannot lead an independent life because of schizophrenia, lacking the ability to engage in day-to-day activities.

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