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James Watson  

Molecular Biologist, Geneticist & Zoologist

The winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize, Dr. Watson uncovered the basic scientific structures of life and how the organization of these proteins and nucleotides arrange themselves to create the unique identities of each living organism.

There is no one with more authority than Dr. Watson to comment on the current direction and debates surrounding genetic engineering, cloning and the future of “lifeâ€ï¿½ itself. Dr. Watson is a living legend whose greatest scientific discovery radically advanced and altered our understanding of human identity and whose legacy points to infinite possibilities and complicated questions.

From 1988 to 1992, Dr. Watson was appointed to head the National Institute of Health in the Human Genome Project, which involved thousands of scientists worldwide working to crack the human genetic code. The recent completion of the first survey of the entire human genome is a historic achievement in DNA research and provides scientists worldwide with the knowledge of an estimated 90% of genes on every chromosome. This discovery will expedite the understanding of how genetics can influence disease development, aid researchers looking for genes associated with particular diseases and lead to the discovery of new treatments.

With unique authority and sweeping vision, Dr. Watson now gives us the first full account of the genetic revolution—from Mendel’s garden to the double helix to the sequencing of the human genome and beyond in his book DNA. In this magisterial work, he guides readers through the startling and rapid advances in genetic technology and what these advances will mean for our lives. Dr. Watson is also the author of The Double Helix and Genes, Girls and Gamow: After the Double Helix.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, he has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science and, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962. Dr. Watson received an honorary knighthood December 31, 2001.

In his speeches, Dr. Watson recounts his dramatic discovery of the double-helixed structure of DNA and the resulting implications his discovery has had on modern medicine and genetics with a sense of humor and a unique ability to articulate the complexities of modern genetics to scientific and lay audiences.

Dr. Watson is President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and resides in Long Island, New York.

Speech Topics

Beyond Genes

Behind the Double Helix

The Discovery of DNA: Implications for the 21st Century

A Personal Account: The History Behind the Discovery of DNA

Lessons From a Life in Science


In 20 Short Years, We've Wiped Out 10 Percent Of Earth's Wilderness
In an interview this week at the world's largest conservation event, James Watson , director of science and research initiatives at the Wildlife Conservation Society ...
An Old Idea, Revived: Starve Cancer to Death - The New York Times
Even James Watson, one of the fathers of molecular biology, is convinced that targeting metabolism is a more promising avenue in current cancer research than  ...
Watson: 'DNA was my only gold rush' - CNN.com
James Watson, 85, worked with Francis Crick to figure out that DNA, the molecule of life, has a double helix structure.
Nobel laureate James D. Watson's old Harvard door lives on at MIT ...
A couple months ago, in the middle of an interview at MIT about a new collaboration in cancer research, I noticed something odd on the office wall -- a framed ...
DNA pioneer James Watson takes aim at cancer establishments ...
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A day after an exhaustive national report on cancer found the United States is making only slow progress against the disease, one of the ...

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