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Scientist accused of racism cancels public appearance

James Watson,the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who caused an international turmoil by his remarks about the intelligence of blacks has canceled his book tour next month.

The scientist, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA, was quoted in the Oct. 14 Times of London Magazine as saying he was "inherently gloomy" about Africa because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours _ whereas all the testing says not really."

He went on to say in the article that while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true."

After the comments were published, Watson canceled his book tour of Britain and returned to the U.S.

National Public Radio host Neal Conan was scheduled to interview Watson at a Kentucky forum on Nov. 12 to promote Watson's new memoir, "Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science."

But Watson told Kentucky Author Forum officials on Monday it would be best to cancel, The Courier-Journal newspaper reported Tuesday.

Watson declined Tuesday night to discuss his comments but told the newspaper he felt that he had to postpone the Kentucky event until the issue "gets out of the newspapers."

He has said the published comments did not reflect his views.

In a written statement to The Associated Press last week, Watson said he was "mortified by what had happened."

"To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologize unreservedly," he said. "That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief."

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where Watson was chancellor, has suspended Watson from administrative duties pending an inquiry.

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