Statement by SASHG on 15/01/2019 in response to racist comments made by James Watson

As African scientists, clinicians and counsellors in the field of genetics, the SASHG respect James Watson’s historical contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA.

However, we categorically reject his – or any other – attempt to link intelligence and race through genetics.

Any claims of genetic superiority of one race over another are misleading, inaccurate and offensive.

Watson’s prejudiced comments are unacceptable, and we unequivocally condemn them, and this way of thinking.

The SASHG strives for fairness and unbiased principles in the science, teaching and practise of human genetics.

The Southern African Society for Human Genetics (SASHG) committee

Relevant links:

Statement by SASHG on 14/03/2019 – updated on 16/04/2019

We have been made aware that Prof. Muntaser Ibrahim (founding member of the AfSHG) has been detained in Sudan following a peaceful protest. Please see the African Society of Human Genetics website and the article in Science for more details.

We would appreciate it if the SASHG community supports the efforts for Prof. Ibrahim’s release.


The Southern African Society for Human Genetics (SASHG) committee

Update (16/04/2019)

Statement by Prof A. Wonkam, President of AfSHG (12/04/2019)

“We are glad to inform you that Prof Muntaser Ibrahim was released yesterday 11 April 2019.

Thanks to all people of good will , from African and international communities, that has directly or indirectly contribute to facilitate this positive outcome.”

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