Black On Campus
Higher Education and the African American Experience

Not All Western Scientists Think Like James Watson

May 18th, 2008 by Ajuan Mance

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking

Who can forget the disturbing comments made by James Watson about the incapacity of people of African descent to reach the same levels of achievement as white people? It is a genetic reality, suggested Watson, that Black people simply do not have the same intellectual capacity as their white counterparts. (Click HERE to read my blogpost on Watson’s comments)

How refreshing it is, then, to read of physicist Stephen Hawking’s comments upon visiting Cape Town, South Africa. Said Hawking, “The world of science needs Africa’s brilliant talents, and I look forward to meeting prospective young Einsteins from Africa in the near future.”

Hawking, 66, understands that academic performance is, in the end, more closely tied to opportunity than to some sort of genetic predestination; and this was evidenced in his statement that he would be “delighted” if his visit, as part of the African Institute for the Mathematical Sciences science talent search (“for the next Einstein”), opened up greater opportunities for young people on the continent to enter math and science fields.

You can read more about Stephen Hawkings on his African trip at THIS link.

Posted by Ajuan Mance

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