New York - A Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to American scientist Dr. James Watson, a co-discoverer of DNA, is expected to sell for up to $3.5-million at auction next month in New York, Christie's said on Monday.
Watson, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, unraveled the double-helix structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in England in 1953 in a discovery that heralded the modern era of biology.
The medal, the first to be offered by a living recipient, will go under the hammer on Dec. 4, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.5-million to $3.5-million.
“It is recognition of probably the most significant scientific breakthrough of the 20th century and the impact of it is only being played out now in the 21st century,” said Francis Wahlgren, international head of books and manuscripts at Christie's. “Whole industries have developed around it.”
The scientists received the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1962 for their ground-breaking work. Watson, 86, will donate part of the proceeds from the auction to charities and to support scientific research.