In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick made one of the major discoveries of the twentieth century: they deciphered the double helical structure of DNA, leading them to understand how the molecule passes information from one generation to the next. The discovery began a revolution in molecular biology that led to major advances in science and medicine.
Watson and Crick both continued their scientific careers, but Watson also embarked on a new one, as a writer. Watson has written ten books and published numerous essays in popular magazines. “Honest Jim” was a facetious nickname given to Watson by a scientific colleague, but the name suits him as an author. His candid, sometimes blunt, literary style has bolstered his reputation for brash honesty. In each of his works, he states his opinions without inhibition, frequently provoking controversy.
Although James Watson will always be associated with DNA and its double helix, he will likewise be remembered for his remarkable writings, both literary and scientific.
The “Honest Jim, James D. Watson, the Writer” traveling exhibition focuses on Watson’s authorship of seminal textbooks in biology and genetics, his non-fiction novels, his work as an essayist on current affairs, politics, and scientific ethics, and his insights into scientific discovery. The exhibit is currently in Italy, with plans for it to travel to Japan and China.
Honest Jim: James D. Watson, the Writer Traveling Exhibit Venues, 2003-2009
New York Public Library: Science, Industry and Business Library, USA, 2003
The John Crerar Library at the University of Chicago, USA, 2004
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, 2005
Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum, Berlin, Germany, 2005
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, 2006
Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, 2007
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 2007
Centre for Life, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 2008
University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, 2008-2009
Stazione Zoologica of Naples, Naples, Italy 2009