Friday, November 28, 2014

James Watson to Sell Nobel Prize Medal

James Watson, the biologist who has been shunned by the scientific community after linking intelligence to race, plans to sell the Nobel Prize medal he won in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, reports FT.

Auction house Christie’s said the gold medal, the first Nobel Prize to be sold by a living recipient, could fetch as much as $3.5m when it is auctioned in New York next Thursday.

FT continues:
If the medal is sold Mr Watson said he would use some of the proceeds to make donations to the “institutions that have looked after me”, such as University of Chicago, where he was awarded his undergraduate degree, and Clare College, Cambridge.

Mr Watson said his income had fallen following his controversial remarks in 2007, which forced him to retire from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York. He still holds the position of chancellor emeritus there.

“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” he said.

He would also use some of the proceeds to buy an artwork, he said. “I really would love to own a [painting by David] Hockney”.

Francis Wahlgren, the Christie’s auctioneer who is handling the sale of the medal, said he was confident it would fetch the $2.5m reserve. He said demand for memorabilia associated with genetic discovery had “exploded” in recent years as the promise of biotechnology became apparent.
Watson – who insisted he was “not a racist in a conventional way” – said it had been “stupid” of him to not realize that his comments on the intelligence of African people would end up in an article.


  1. Perhaps this is a chance for everyone that's still happy with Obola to get him a Christmas present. That way he'll have one he didn't buy himself. Two should give him back the respect he has lost surely.

  2. Don't apologize. It just makes things worse.

  3. Gruber said. "And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass."

    Where's the outrage?