On this day 50 years ago it was announced that Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and James D. Watson had won the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. Watson was a professor at Harvard University at the time, and a student took the liberty of announcing the news by scrawling "Dr. Watson has just won the Nobel Prize!" on his classroom blackboard. Here's a humorous side-note regarding Harvard and the prize: Watson assumed that he would receive receive a large bonus from Harvard on top of the standard $2,000 a year raise. The university, restricted by budget cuts, instead opted to not give out any pay raises at all. Watson was not amused.
Next year marks another milestone for Watson: the 60th anniversary of the actual discovery. And there's no better way to join in on the celebration than purchasing a copy of The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix! This brand new edition is packed with original documents and a plethora of never-before-seen photographs of all the major players from the time of the discovery, many of which are courtesy of the CSHL Library and Archives. Sample chapters of the new edition are available for your perusal at the CSHL Press website.