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For Sale: One Nobel Prize Medallion, Bigot Scientist Not Included

Disgruntled, notorious scientist James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, will sell his Nobel Prize medallion this week.

Photo by Adam Nadel

In 1953, James Watson, along with Francis Crick, unveiled the double helix structure of DNA to the world—a discovery that will forever be recognized as one of most significant achievements of the 20th century. In 1962, Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the scientific field’s most honored distinction, along with Crick and scientist Maurice Wilkins. Now, 52 years later, Watson has announced that he will be auctioning his Nobel Prize medallion (estimated to be worth a cool $3.5 million) this Thursday, December 6.

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Need a Kidney? This Nobel-Winning Economist is Helping You Get One

Roth employed economic theory in developing a system that improves matching people who need kidney transplants with those who are willing to donate.

This summer I got my hands on a great book, Robert J. Shiller's "Finance and the Good Society." It cleared up a couple of the frustrated, economic-related thunderstorms in my brain, and continues to do so. The basic premise of the book, that finance is sort of beautiful and can be a force for good, might not be the most popular message at the moment, but you really don't have to agree with it to read the book. In fact, it might be a bit better if you don't.

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At the Local Level, What’s a Nobel Peace Prize Worth?

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf struggles toward re-election.


After a storm, Liberia is beautiful. The West African country founded by freed American slaves is better known for 14 years of civil war that introduced child soldiers into the global lexicon, and sent ripples of toxic violence throughout the region. The storm has passed. From the rooftop of the gorgeous-but-gutted Ducor Hotel, you can see the nation’s potential: ports and rubber and abundant human resources. On the simple roads outside the capital, Monrovia, abandoned stone houses host ambitious, climbing plants—a metaphor for post-conflict Liberia if ever there was one.

The people of Liberia head to the polls Tuesday to elect a new government. Their second vote since civil war might have passed into the obscurity of distant democracy if the incumbent president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, hadn’t been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize last week. The citation, honoring her and two other female activists from Yemen and Liberia, gave confidence to advocates for a global feminism, particularly in the developing world. It also revived a debate about foreign intervention in a country struggling to normalize local institutions and exercise free choice.

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It's Nobel Time: Economics

Today's winners work on a resonant problem: What happens when the jobs that are available aren't the right jobs for the unemployed.

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It's Nobel Prize Time: Medicine

It's the first day of Nobel week! Today's winner, in Medicine: Robert G. Edwards, the man behind in-vitro fertilization

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