Dr. James D. Watson

Nobel Prize-winning scientist who, along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins discovered the structure of DNA

  • About James D. Watson

    James D. Watson is best known as the American molecular biologist who discovered “the Secret of Life.” Along with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, Dr. Watson discovered the structure of the DNA molecule. For this discovery the men were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Watson was just 34 years old. His lectures draw on his incredible life in and out of science, and he has the ability to communicate the most complex scientific concepts in terms that are accessible to all audiences.

    Dr. Watson was director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a research facility on Long Island in New York, from 1968 to 1993. He was the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health, from 1989 to 1992. 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, most notably, the Nobel Prize.

    James Watson’s most recent book, Avoid Boring People, is a delightful romp through his life and learning; it will be an indispensable guide to anyone plotting a career in science or otherwise. Seed magazine writes: “James Watson has had just about the most successful career a scientist can. Now he’s passing on what he learned along the way. . . . Aspiring Nobel laureates, pay attention. The road to the prize is laid out for you here. A book to be highlighted and handed down.”

  • Speaking Topics

    Lessons from a Life in Science

    A Personal Account: The History Behind the Discovery of DNA

    The Discovery of DNA: Implications for the Twenty-First Century

    Behind the Double Helix

    Beyond Genes

  • Video

  • Praise for James D. Watson

    Dr. James Watson was a wonderful choice for the Fisher Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Watson shared himself so generously with our students and talked so easily with an audience of 1,800 that he charmed everyone around. He made the discovery of the structure of DNA sound so simple, and he kept reminding the audience about how very human he was, which made him so much more intriguing, of course!

    Lamar University
  • Books by James D. Watson

  • Media About James D. Watson

Request Fees
and Availability

  • 212 572-2013
  • James D. Watson travels from Long Island, NY

Similar Speakers

Ken Burns

Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker

Katherine Boo

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Book Award-winning author of Behind the Beautiful Forevers