James Watson, who in 1962 received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, is selling his winner's medal. He wants to donate the money he makes to academic science research.
The 86-year-old American biologist and geneticist is the first Nobel Prize winner still alive to sell the gold medal he received, together with a diploma and prize money.
The 52-year-old Nobel medal is going under the hammer at Christie’s auction house next Thursday. The estimated sales value is 25 million kroner ($3.5 million dollars).
Watson said: “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.”
In addition to the medal, Watson’s hand-written speech of thanks he gave at the Nobel award ceremony and Nobel lecture will also go under the hammer.
Oslo will host this year's Nobel prize award ceremony on December 14th.
Together with his researcher colleagues Francis Rick and Maurice Wilkins, Watson discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.