Faulty genes?

August 17, 2007

I read with great amusement the front-page news of James Watson's latest idea that social ineptness and misogyny might be nothing more than a quirk in the genetic set-up of poor fellows like Larry Summers ("Summers' storm was 'written in his genes'," August 10).

Although it was a nice, sunny summer morning, I checked my diary to make sure it was not April Fools' Day.

If this piece of journalism is not an intrusion of the paranormal into our life (which is heralded in the same issue of The Times Higher as a valid field of scientific inquiry) but a well-researched reflection of Watson's view on this matter, and if we should believe in the scientific wisdom created by one of the noblest brains, it certainly begs the question which genes (or chromosome, for that matter) Watson is missing.

Johannes M. Zanker

Royal Holloway

University of London

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