Really. I am not making this up. As quoted in The Guardian:
He smiles. “Rosalind is my cross,” he says slowly. “I’ll bear it. I think she was partially autistic.” He pauses for a while, before repeating the suggestion, as if to make it clear that this is no off-the-cuff insult, but a considered diagnosis. “I’d never really thought of scientists as autistic until this whole business of high-intelligence autism came up. There is probably no other explanation for Rosalind’s behaviour.
Oh, yes, a considered diagnosis, I’m sure. He’s been considering since 1953 what he’d like to preemptively tell the world about Rosalind Franklin. I’m sure he was thrilled to pieces to have a new piece of tripe to offer, as the old stories were getting a bit stale.
He goes on to tell us:
“She showed great insensitivity to Wilkins. It [DNA] was his problem and she just thought she could take it from him. She was clueless. John Randall [the British physicist who led the King’s College team that included Wilkins and Franklin] told her DNA was going to be her thing and [she] took it from Maurice. But fair play should never have allowed Rosalind to do it. So she was either not a nice person, or just clueless. I think clueless. When you knew her, she wasn’t nasty; just awkward.
He adds: “Francis didn’t think Rosalind was a great scientist. That was Francis at his most honest. The truth was she couldn’t think in three dimensions very well.”
Yes, she just thought she could “take it” from him; maybe because she was told to work on it??? How could a journalist print this pack of mis-truths and outright lies without comment? But this is what we get: The sycophantic journalist opines, “The assessment is not meant to be as damning as it sounds. Rather, it is Watson just doing what he always does: telling it as he sees it…” Moron, interviewing a moron.
Yes, as he sees it. Not, of course, that how he sees it bears any relationship to reality. If Jim Watson has even the remotest idea of what the real Rosalind Franklin was actually like, he has never uttered a single word to indicate so.
Does Jim Watson really have nothing better to do with his time than to offer up constant desperate attacks on a dead woman in order to prove that he really, truly did deserve his Nobel and that it really, truly was okay that he stole Franklin’s data and didn’t give her credit for it? Apparently not. The only thing more pathetic than the sight of this miserable old man maligning a dead woman is the way journalists and scientists fawn over his every slimy word.
Now pardon me while I go off and hork up my lunch. Which, preferably, said horking would occur in the direction of Watson’s shoes, but he isn’t worth the gas money it would take to drive up to Cold Spring Harbor.
Hat tip to Strontium for pointing me to the Guardian article.