The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1962
The President's National Medal of Sciences - Biological Sciences 1997
Co-Nobelists Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins
Zoologist. ‘Discovered molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.’
Very generous with subordinates regarding authorship of articles.
“Good science is difficult. We must believe strongly in our ideas.”
Medal Cash & Philanthropy
James Dewey Watson decided to auction off his Nobel Prize in 2014, making him the first Nobel Prize winner to auction off his prize while living. Watson felt obligated to auction off the prize due to lack of funds after being forced to retire as chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island over controversial racist comments. The Nobel Prize sold for $4.7 Million, the most for which a Nobel Prize has sold in history. Watson intended to donate the proceeds to conservation work in Long Island and to funding research at Trinity College, Dublin.
The buyer of the Nobel Prize medal, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, gave the medal back to Watson, because he thought it was “unacceptable” that he should be compelled to sell the same. According to Russia’s Itar-Tass, Usmanov’s press agent said, “Dr. Watson’s work contributed to cancer research, the illness from which my father died. It is important for me that the money that I spent on this medal will go to supporting scientific research, and the medal will stay with the person who deserved the same.”
Name: James Dewey Watson
Birth: 6 April 1928, Chicago, Ill, USA
Institution: Harvard Univesity, Campridge, MA, USA
Award: "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material."
Portion of Cash: 1/3
Education: Horace Mann Grammar School, Chicago. South Shore High School, Chicago.
B.Sc. Zoology University of Chicago 1947. Ph.D. Zoology Indiana University, Bloomington 1950.
Ph.D. Mentor Salvador E. Luria, Later Medicine Nobelist 1969.
Mentee: Mario Capecchi, Medical Nobelist, 2007
Ph.D. Thesis: The Biological Properties of X-Ray Inactivated Bacteriophage (1951)
Medal, Cash & Philanthropy