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Thread: James Watson Selling Nobel Prize

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    James Watson Selling Nobel Prize

    James Watson selling Nobel prize 'because no-one wants to admit I exist'

    World-famous biologist James Watson said he is selling the Nobel Prize medal he won in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA because he has been ostracised and needs the money


    James Watson, the world-famous biologist who was shunned by the scientific community after linking intelligence to race, said he is selling his Nobel Prize because he is short of money after being made a pariah.

    Mr Watson said he is auctioning the Nobel Prize medal he won in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA, because "no-one really wants to admit I exist".

    Auctioneer Christie’s said the gold medal, the first Nobel Prize to be sold by a living recipient, could fetch as much as $3.5m (£2.23m) when it is auctioned in New York on Thursday. The reserve price is $2.5m.

    Mr Watson told the Financial Times he had become an “unperson” after he “was outed as believing in IQ” in 2007 and said he would like to use money from the sale to buy a David Hockney painting.

    Mr Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for uncovering the double helix structure of DNA, sparked an outcry in 2007 when he suggested that people of African descent were inherently less intelligent than white people.

    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 plummeted 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 (£1,598347) reserve. He said demand for memorabilia associated with genetic discovery had “exploded” in recent years as the promise of biotechnology became apparent.

    “The far-reaching aspects of their discovery affect everybody and are only being appreciated now,” said Mr Wahlgreen.

    The auctioneer said he did not expect the controversy surrounding Mr Watson’s comments to deter potential buyers. “I think the guy is the greatest living scientist. There are a lot of personalities in history we’d find fault with – but their discoveries transcend human foibles,” he said

    Auctions for memorabilia and art have been setting new records recently as investors look for inflation-proof investments. Earlier this month Christie’s brought in the highest-ever total for an auction at its contemporary sale in New York. The sale grossed $852.9m across 75 lots, including $25.9m for Jeff Koons’s Balloon Monkey sculpture.

    Mr Watson – who insisted he was “not a racist in a conventional way” – said it had been “stupid” of him to not realise that his comments on the intelligence of African people would end up in an article.

    “I apologise . . . [the journalist] somehow wrote that I worried about the people in Africa because of their low IQ – and you’re not supposed to say that.”

    In 2007, the Sunday Times ran an interview with Dr Watson in which he said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

    He told the newspaper people wanted to believe that everyone was born with equal intelligence but that those “who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
    Mr Watson said he hoped the publicity surrounding the sale of the medal would provide an opportunity for him to “re-enter public life”. Since the furore in 2007 he has not delivered any public lectures.

    “I’ve had a unique life that’s allowed me to do things. I was set back. It was stupid on my part. All you can do is nothing, except hope that people actually know what you are,” he said.

    Prof Watson made his scientific discovery in 1953 at Cambridge University with Francis Crick. They were jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Maurice Wilkins, from King's College London, for identifying the elegant double helix in work that laid the basis for modern molecular biology.

    Mr Watson said he one day wanted his children to auction the handwritten manuscript for his famous book, The Double Helix. “It will be worth a lot more. We’d have a reserve of at least $10m,” he said.


    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/scie...t-I-exist.html

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    Glad to see he is still around. But I fear this news article will only discourage more scientists from giving their honest informed opinions on such matters. But I hope the actions will give a lot more then is expected. Might generate even more publicity and hopefully then some open minded people are willing to study his claims instead of dismissing it out of hand, because it goes against the doctrine of genetic egalitarianism when it comes to intelligence.
    The sense of honor is of so fine and delicate a nature that
    it is only to be met with in minds which are naturally noble or
    cultivated by good examples and a refined education.
    - Sir Richard Steele

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisjqb View Post
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/scie...t-I-exist.html

    "You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English Patient.
    Go Watson.

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    and here is the reason:

    In 2007, the Sunday Times ran an interview with Dr Watson in which he said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

    This is sad on another note. The Watson-Crick DNA structure discovery is the only thing, the only scientific achievement in the post Third Reich world. Everything else, every technological and scientific development we take for granted and new was actually invented or greatly further developed by the Germans during the Nazi years.

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    Watson is unfortunately a liberal on anything else, he was in fact chided by his friend Richard Dawkins about his lack of interest in men's rights once.

    1. Yesterdays left winger is left behind as today's bigot. "Don't you know what year it is!"
    2. Today's left consumes itself.

    In a world where "I fucking love science" means pictures of galaxies, Watson doesn't recieve much sympathy from the science set.

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    Since the article is dated 2014, here's what happened afterward: Russia's billionairiest billionare Alisher Usmanov bought Watson's Nobel medal and gave it back to him.

    https://www.rt.com/news/212943-usman...l-prize-medal/

    Usmanov’s bid of $4.1 million won the medal at the auction, USM Holdings group, of which the billionaire is the largest shareholder, said on Tuesday.

    “In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist sells a medal recognizing his achievements is unacceptable,” Usmanov said in the statement. “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 it.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormraaf View Post
    Since the article is dated 2014, here's what happened afterward: Russia's billionairiest billionare Alisher Usmanov bought Watson's Nobel medal and gave it back to him.

    https://www.rt.com/news/212943-usman...l-prize-medal/
    That was a humanitarian, noble act.

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    Ilian
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    Now that the year of publication is put in the spotlights I feel the original writer of the article should be set in the spotlights too:
    "By Keith Perry

    6:15PM GMT 28 Nov 2014"

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