Shamed Watson Keeps the Cash and His Nobel Medal, a “Go and Sin No More” Gesture
On 2 December 2014, XCLUSIVE Magazine reported how the Infamous Biologist James Watson was about to fling his Nobel Prize Medal to raise some cash.
He had told the Financial Times that he needed the money to contribute to research centres and to buy art, which may be far from the truth. Watson’s finance is in tatters and he is urgently in need of money. This is because Watson’s career and finance nose-dived after his controversial and racially-laced remarks in 2007 that black people were inherently less intelligent than white people. Since then he has never recovered.
“Because I was an ‘unperson’ I was fired from the boards of companies, so I have no income, apart from my academic income,” the shamed biologist told the Financial Times in an interview.
On Thursday, 4 December 2014, the medal, which Watson won with Francis Crick in 1962 for discovering the double helix structure of DNA, went under the hammer. Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek-born Russian businessman and Arsenal shareholder, paid a whopping $4.1m for it. It was a record sale for a medal that Francis Wahlgren, the Christie’s auctioneer who handled the sale, was expecting to sell for about 3.5 million.
And it is Christmas come too early for the shamed Watson because Usmanov, an Uzbek-born Russian billionaire, who has a net worth of $19.6 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for 2013, now wants Watson to keep the cash and the medal.
“The medal will stay with the person who deserved it. I wouldn’t’ like the medal of the distinguished scientist to be an object on sale,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday, 9 December 2014.
For a man whose financial woes started after he told the Sunday Times’ Charlotte Hunt-Grubbe in an interview that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really,”, Usmanov generosity is seen by many as a “go and sin no more” gesture.
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