Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist James Watson has been stripped of several honorary titles by the laboratory he once headed over his views about intelligence and race.

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was acting in response to remarks he made in a television documentary which aired earlier this month.

The 90-year-old geneticist – one of three who discovered the DNA double helix – had lost his job at the New York laboratory in 2007 for expressing racist views.

But in the new PBS film, American Masters: Decoding Watson, he said his views on intelligence and race had not changed since.

He had told a magazine in 2007 he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” as “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really”.

While Dr Watson also said he hoped everyone was equal, he added: “People who have to deal with black employees find this is not true.”

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