Watson Says Law Cannot Handle Genetic Engineering

In a speech to a capacity crowd, Nobel Prize winner James D. Watson, called for legislators to stay out of genetic engineering-- - and to leave the ethical dilemmas to women.

'Trust women, they'll look after themselves," he said.

Watson, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA, spoke yesterday to about 1,000 students in the Science Center, with just as many watching on simulcast from nearby overflow rooms.


The hour-long speech was the first of nine seminars sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and the new Harvard Center for Genomics Research (CGR).

Director of the CGR Dari Shalon introduced Watson by saying that the center plans to "carry forward the revolution that James Watson started."

In introductory remarks, Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine said, "The new center...represents an absolutely major, crucial University priority." He promised that there would be "no break in stride" as Harvard builds the new center.

"The resources will be found... The main job will simply to attract the best students, faculty and staff to carry out the progress and our teaching at the very highest level," Rudenstine said.

Watson began his speech with an account of his most famous accomplishment, the discovery of the double helical structure of the DNA molecule.

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