New York (dpa) – World-renowned scientist James Watson, who helped discover the structure of DNA, is putting his 1962 Nobel Prize gold medal up for auction next month, Christie’s auction house said.
Watson, 86, is the first living Nobel-laurate in history to sell his medal, which is estimated to fetch up to 3.5 million dollars. He will use part of the proceeds from the December 4 sale to support scientific research.
“I look forward to making further philanthropic gifts … so I can continue to do my part in keeping the academic world an environment where great ideas and decency prevail,” he said.
Other artefacts including Watson’s handwritten notes for his Nobel Prize acceptance speech and drafts of his Nobel lecture will go under the hammer, too. Each are expected to be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Watson, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, made the ground-breaking 1953 discovery that the structure of DNA was a double helix, a turning point in modern medicine and molecular biology.