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Leaving the PSC boll weevil committee in 1963


Pesticides and Rachel Carson
James Watson Scientist
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So, you know, when the committee was set up, the Monsanto and those people, hopefully we would sort of come to the conclusion that Rachel was just a silly old, maid. Instead we came to the other conclusion, yes, that, pesticides do spread through the food chain, there’s got to be regulation, and, I don’t know when England reached the same conclusions. But, you know, but the alternative is that night soil is safe, but, chemical fertilizers are bad, is crap. The big poison that occurred over lettuce in the United States, oh, no, spinach, organic spinach.
Was it organic spinach?
Organic spinach, so that, so no one, and the price of organic food is about 20 to 30% higher, so, it is a diversion from poor people, and not letting you best deploy your food money. You know, you’re being asked to spend more for it, and the idea that, you know, chemistry never promotes better living.

American molecular biologist James Dewey Watson is probably best known for discovering the structure of DNA for which he was jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. His long career has seen him teaching at Harvard and Caltech, and taking over the directorship of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. From 1988 to 1992, James Watson was head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on the study of cancer.

Listeners: Martin Raff Walter Gratzer

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Walter Gratzer is Emeritus Professor of Biophysical Chemistry at King's College London, and was for most of his research career a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council. He is the author of several books on popular science. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard and has known Jim Watson since that time

Duration: 1 minute, 39 seconds

Date story recorded: November 2008 and October 2009

Date story went live: 18 June 2010