Saturday, November 29, 2014

James Watson to sell Nobel Prize medal

Do you want the Nobel Prize medal? It would be yours, perhaps for $3.5 million.

James Watson, a famous biologist decided to auction his Nobel Prize medal. He was given the Nobel Prize accompanied, with Francis Crick, Linus Pauling, and Maurice Wilkins, for the discovery of double-helix structure of the DNA. I guess there are no biologists not knowing his name. He is such a living legend.

However, his life after the historic discovery in 1953 was not calm. He insisted that African people were inferior to White in the intelligence in 2007. His statement ignited a broad criticism against him, making him discharged from many honorable positions. His income dramatically decreased from 2007, according to him. This is a reason that he dared to sell the medal.

Financial Times: James Watson to sell Nobel Prize medal

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

Actually, there are some Nobel Prize medals auctioned in the past. The one of Francis Crick was also sold by his son the last year. But it is for the first time that the medal of living recipient is to be sold.

Nature: Crick's DNA Nobel medal gets $2 million at auction

To buy the Nobel Prize medal is highly symbolic because the medal itself is no use. Gaining the medal means respect for the achievement of Watson and investment for him. Indeed, he declared to donate a certain amount of money he gains to some universities. Besides, if a company wins the medal, the effect of advertisement will not negligible.

By the way, the relationship between intelligence and race is extremely sensitive issue. We have to admit that there are genetic factors to determine some human abilities. However, intelligence is not easily defined using a couple of parameters. It is reckless to claim that a certain type of human is superior to others in the intelligence. It is ironic that the Demon of gene could not understand the risk for proceeding to determinism of genetics.


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