"Nobel laureate, writer, leader, innovator, iconoclast, and extraordinary man of science, James Watson fulfilled the alchemists' dream," said Arnold Thackray, president of CHF. "All of mankind is indebted to Jim. His scientific imagination and intellectual drive have opened the way to countless new therapies and the possibility of longer, healthful lives."
In 1953 Watson and his colleague Francis Crick successfully proposed the double-helical structure for DNA, a feat considered by many to be the greatest achievement of science in the 20th century. For this work, Watson and Crick, together with Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Watson was a driving force behind setting up the Human Genome Project, a major factor in his receipt of the 1993 Copley Medal from the Royal Society. All through his career, he has found time to share his insights, writing important texts for those in the sciences and also popular works, some of them best sellers, that describe his life and work for those with no technical background.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1928, Watson received a B.S. in 1947 from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in 1950 from Indiana University; both degrees were in zoology. Following a National Research Fellowship in Copenhagen and a National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, England, he spent two years at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1955 and became professor in 1961, moving in 1976 to New
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Chemical Heritage Foundation