Op-Ed

James Watson

Did you have a nice DNA Day? And how was your Human Genome Month?

If you missed those Congressionally-designated celebrations last month due to minor distractions, like a war or being laid off from your job, don't worry: The media missed the real story anyway.

Many of the newspaper, radio and television accounts of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA's double helix, focused on the eccentric genius and baffling charm of co-discoverer James Watson. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed, Nobel laureate Watson, or "Honest Jim" as he likes to consider himself, celebrated in his own way: by continuing to aggressively advance his agenda for genetically re-engineering the human species -- even if that requires engaging in medical experimentation that puts lives at risk.

Some observers reflexively dismiss Watson's genetic prescriptions as the idiosyncratic ideas of a crank; wasn't that, they ask, the fellow who suggested a genetic linkage between skin color and sex drive? Or else ascribe them to Watson's desire to keep genetic research at the cutting edge. Yet while both of these hypotheses could be true, they miss...