James Watson—Genetic Libertarian


The current issue of Discover has a fascinating interview with biologist James Watson, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA. For example:

Discover: You are Jim Watson. You're put in charge of how we as a society are going to react to issues raised by genetics?stem cells, bioengineering, and the like. What would you do?

Watson: Well, my sensibility is very libertarian. Just let all genetic decisions be made by individual women. That is, never ask what's good for the country; ask what's good for the family. I don't know what's good for the country, but you can often say what's good or bad for the family. That is, mental disease is no good for any family. And so if there's a way of trying to fight that, I'd let a woman have the choice to do it or not do it. Not give in and have the state tell you to have a certain sort of child. I would be very frightened by the state telling you one way or the other.

Seems exactly right to me.