The cunning plan was successful

So James Watson’s little trick worked. The rich guy who bought his Nobel medal did indeed buy it to give it back to him.

Russia’s richest man has revealed that he bought US scientist James Watson’s Nobel Prize gold medal, and intends to return it to him.

Steel and telecoms tycoon Alisher Usmanov said Mr Watson “deserved” the medal, and that he was “distressed” the scientist had felt forced to sell it.

The medal, awarded in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, sold for $4.8m (£3m) at auction.

The medal was the first Nobel Prize to be put on sale by a living recipient.

Cool way to make 5 million bucks. Dignified, too.

In an interview with the Financial Times recently, Mr Watson said he had been made to feel like an “unperson” since a Sunday Times interview seven years ago in which he linked race to intelligence.

So he sold his medal in a fit of pique and in hopes that someone would pay a lot of money for it and then give it back to him. How touching. Racism gets its reward.


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Come now. Unless he and Mr. Rich Russian had made this devious plan as a way for Mr. RR to launder an annoying – and annoyingly large – truckload of money, I see no reason to think that Dr. Watson had any idea he’d get the medal back. It was always a possibility, of course, but I think that most people would respect the fact that Dr. W decided to sell it. That means that he wants it to go somewhere else, and in return, he’ll get a different sort of asset to do something else with.

    Honestly, I don’t see anything necessarily underhanded or even cunning about it. I think the way Dr. W’s apparent popularity took such a tumble in the wake of him speaking his mind (the way all Great Men should be free to, don’tcha know) is punishment enough. He certainly lost a lot of prestige along with speaking fees, after all.

    So it turned out particularly nicely for him. I’m okay with that. Everybody still knows what a racist he is, after all. NOW we get to see if Dr. W actually donates the proceeds as he insisted was his goal!! Somehow, I don’t think Mr. RR is going to care…

  2. sonofrojblake says

    Interesting way to make more money than most of us will ever see. Side effect is obviously that if there was anyone who didn’t already know he was a racist douche – now they do. So swings and roundabouts.

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