Monday, June 25, 2007

James Watson on Dye Jobs

In graduate school, I read The Double Helix, a fascinating autobiographical account of two men's disovery of DNA, written by James Watson. One notable thing about both the discovery and the book, however, is the hardcore sexism that Rosalind Franklin, a key player in the discovery, faced from Watson and fellow discoverer Francis Crick. Little (if any) credit was given to her for her expertise on X-ray diffraction which was instrumental in Watson and Crick's discovery. She wasn't even allowed in the faculty lounge. There's of course debate over what she would have figured out herself based on the X-ray work, but she was undoubtedly treated like shit. She didn't get in on the Noble Prize. She died before the book was published in the sixties.

Page Six today reports on James Watson's upcoming memoir, Avoid Boring People, which I'll admittedly try to read, with some advice he includes about hair dye for men. I wonder if he thinks, at 79 years old, if "gray hair and wrinkles at 50 bespeak dependability" and "it's better to act younger than you look, rather than the reverse" apply to women as well?

1 comment:

MT said...

Hmmm. When I was in grad school the scuttlebutt was Watson had lost a few screws. My labmate, choosing to ignore this, went to hear him speak and came back eyes wide and jaw skimming the floor tiles over, I believe, some racist remarks she said he'd made.