Father to Son
By James D. Watson

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Father to Son   Truth, Reason and Decency

By James D. Watson

We're not all equal, it's simply not true. That isn't science.

Biology has at least 50 more interesting years.

Science moves with the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty.

A clone of Einstein wouldn't be stupid, but he wouldn't necessarily be any genius, either.

I think the reason people are dealing with science less well now than 50 years ago is that it has become so complicated.

I never dreamed that in my lifetime my own genome would be sequenced.

The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was that my father didn't believe in God, and so he had no hang-ups about souls.

If you succeed with your first dream, it helps. You know, people trust you, possibly, for the second one. They give you a chance to play out your second one.

I am thrilled to see my genome.

My heroes were never scientists. They were Graham Greene and Christopher Isherwood, you know, good writers.

Some think there is something wrong about enhancing people.

You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient.

Our goal should be to understand our differences.

The pace of discovery is going unbelievably fast.

I wanted to see if I could write a good book.

You can't change the world without offending it.

I am putting my genome sequence on line to encourage the development of an era of personalized medicine, in which information contained in our genomes can be used to identify and prevent disease and to create individualized medical therapies.

It's necessary to be slightly underemployed if you are to do something significant.

Take young researchers, put them together in virtual seclusion, give them an unprecedented degree of freedom and turn up the pressure by fostering competitiveness.

At lunch Francis winged into the Eagle to tell everyone within hearing distance that we had found the secret of life.

Today, the theory of evolution is an accepted fact for everyone but a fundamentalist minority, whose objections are based not on reasoning but on doctrinaire adherence to religious principles.

As an educator, I have always striven to see that the fruits of the American Dream are available to all.

I don't think we're for anything, we're just products of evolution. You can say "Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don't think there's a purpose," but I'm anticipating a good lunch.

I couldn't have got anywhere without Francis....It could have been Crick without Watson, but certainly not Watson without Crick.

No one may have the guts to say this, but if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we?

There is only one science, physics: everything else is social work.

If we don't play God, who will?

Never be the brightest person in the room.

I just can't sit while people are saying nonsense in a meeting without saying it's nonsense.

Be sure you have someone up your sleeve who will save you when you find yourself in deep s-.

Father to Son featured in The Chicago Tribuneread the article here.

Many of us wonder how our heritage has influenced who we are and what we have become. The renowned scientist and author James D. Watson has more to reflect upon than most. A Radio Quiz Kid at 12 and a University of Chicago student at 15, Watson at 24 had a scientific discovery to his credit—the structure of DNA—that would win a Nobel Prize and forever change our understanding of genes and inheritance. Now, after a lifetime of accomplishment in research, writing, education, and science advocacy, Watson has delved for the first time publicly into his own lineage.

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Father to Son © 2014 published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press