Will the Watson 'gotcha' moment bring...

Will the Watson 'gotcha' moment bring down public genomics?

There are 4 comments on the John Hawks Anthropology Weblog story from Dec 12, 2007, titled Will the Watson 'gotcha' moment bring down public genomics?. In it, John Hawks Anthropology Weblog reports that:

“I am reluctant, personally, to make much of the analysis.”

Will the Watson "gotcha" moment bring down public genomics? Another thing I didn't expect to see today: DeCode Genetics went looking through James Watson's genome sequence for evidence he is secretly black: A ... via John Hawks Anthropology Weblog

Join the discussion below, or Read more at John Hawks Anthropology Weblog.

Eluemuno R Blyden

Saint Louis, MO

#1 Dec 13, 2007
John Hawke's concern about public genomics in: "Will the Watson 'gotcha' moment bring down public genomics?" is misplaced for a number of reasons. He confuses the legitimate concern over invasion of an individual's privacy with the accepted social cost of publishing. DeCode have nothing unethical in analysing Watsons publicly available genome information-- especially since Watson himself published it. The situation here is not diffferent from the antics of Paris Hilton or any other would-be celebrity or political candidate. There is nothing more unethical about analysing Watsons published DNA sequence than there would be about analysing his photograph with the same intent.
I findi it amusing that DeCode is essentially saying that Watson is 'Passing'-- a tern dating back to the days of segregation in the USA when people who were officially defined as black by virute of having more than 1/16th admixture of African genes, could pass for being white. If anything I think DeCode is making a valuable contribution to this whole discussion by reducing it to an analogous absurdity we have already dealt with in public debate and legislation.
Eluemuno R Blyden

Saint Louis, MO

#2 Dec 13, 2007
Apologies for the typos.
Kristjan Moore

Reykjavík, Iceland

#3 Dec 28, 2007
Look, a relative of mine works for the particular company mentioned, and they are certainly not some creepy old stalker who follows people around, waits for them to drop a tissue or hair and runs back to the lab and finds out embarrassing personal secrets through the DNA. James Watson has made his genome publicly available online (at http://jimwatsonsequence.cshl.edu/ ): all Decode did was use the publicly available data to demonstrate their research, and the research uncovered a few surprising results.

Quite frankly, Mr. "Black People are Stupid" deserves it.:/
JAson Parkinson

Cambridge, UK

#4 May 25, 2013
good article. thanks

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