Tags: james watson | nobel | prize | returned

Russian Who Bought James Watson's Nobel Prize Says He'll Give it Back

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:10 PM

The man who bought DNA pioneer James Watson's Nobel Prize in an auction has given it back to the famous scientist.

Watson, 86, was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins for their groundbreaking discovery of DNA.

Watson was selling his medal to generate some income, and it was purchased for $4.7 million in a Christie's auction by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose fortune is worth $15.8 billion, according to Forbes.

In an unusual move, Usmanov then said he would return the medal to Watson, reports NBC News.

"I wouldn't like the medal of the distinguished scientist to be an object on sale," said Usmanov, the richest man in Russia. "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."

Usmanov added that Watson is "one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind."

Watson's career took an ugly turn in 2007 when he made racial comments during an interview. He was forced to resign as the chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory because of the remarks, and has mostly stayed out of the public eye ever since.

He planned to use the money from the sale of his medal to generate some income, purchase some art, and for charitable donations.

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The man who bought DNA pioneer James Watson's Nobel Prize in an auction has given it back to the famous scientist.
james watson, nobel, prize, returned
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2014-10-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 11:10 PM
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