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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Festival bars race row scientist
Dr James Watson
Dr Watson was due to arrive in Britain to promote his new book
The Bristol Festival of Ideas has cancelled an appearance by the Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson after a row over his views on race.

On Thursday, the Science Museum cancelled an appearance by the academic after he claimed black people were less intelligent than white.

Dr Watson won a Nobel Prize in 1962 for his part in discovering the structure of the DNA molecule.

He was due to speak in Bristol on Wednesday, 24 October.

'Unacceptably provocative'

In a statement, Andrew Kelly of the Festival of Ideas said: "While we are a festival that encourages debate, it is clear that James Watson's opinions were unacceptably provocative."

I can only apologise unreservedly
Dr James Watson

The Science Museum in London said Dr Watson had gone beyond the point of acceptable debate.

Following the controversy, the geneticist said: "To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly."

Museum drops race row scientist
18 Oct 07 |  London


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