Watson, in his memoir, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science, describes his academic colleagues as “dinosaurs,” “deadbeats,” “fossils,” “has-beens,” “mediocre,” and “vapid.” The Harvard review of the book was critical, where each chapter is in the form of “Manners…”, covering how Watson felt that social skills and manners can play an important role in different facets of a scientist’s success when the reviewer felt that Watson had often displayed a lack of manners in his career there. E. O. Wilson, who once described Watson as “the most unpleasant human being I had ever met”, later declared in a TV interview he deemed their rivalry at Harvard (about the expanding funding for molecular biology at the reduction of organismic biology) to be old history and that they were friends.
It would have been so easy to face cientist James Watson and have a productive conversation with him, since he never tried to hide his beliefs and “controversial” theories. Instead a bunch of rebel youngsters did what they do best… Make noise… mmmm! I’m bored to death…
- James Watson menaced by hoodies shouting ‘racist!’ (newscientist.com)