James Watson

The Doubble Helix-Man!

Childhood & General Info

James Dewey Watson was born in Chicago Illinois, on April 6,1928. As a young child, he went to Horace Mann Grammar School. Then later he attended South Shore High School. At the age of 15 , he went to The University of Chicago. He had gotten accepted into their "Gifted Youngster", program, which meant he was going to college, and taking college class right then and there.

The classes that had subjects he liked, were the ones he did best in. He was really good at Biology. He was also good at Zoology. At the University of Chicago, he got a Bachelor Of Science in Zoology. He then went to Indiana University and got his Ph.D. in Zoology.

Scientific Intrest

Watson first wanted to be an Curator of Ornithology. He wanted to do that at The Museum Of Natural History. While doing some work with X-Ray's in the Cavendish Laboratory in The University of Cambridge,he discovered he liked scientific X-Ray work. He also discovered that he was interested, and didn't know that much about DNA. The University of Copenhagen was the first place he did something about that interest.

During his scientific career, Watson face some hardships. He faced hardships mostly because of the controversial statements he made. Watson had been making statements about the intellegnece of Africans. He had also made various assuptions abut intellectual differnecees between geographically separated people. Since Watson had made those controversial statements/assumptions, and could not prove them, and also because they were kind of racist h had to resign from the research lab at Cold Spring Harbor.

Contribution To Science

James Watson helped to discover the double helix. A double helix is apart of DNA. A double looks like a ladder. Not just any ladder, but a twisty ladder. It kind of makes a swirly pattern. It is 2 long strands of DNA. Between those strands are also more DNA.

When Watson discovered this, he didn't do it alone. he was working with Francis Crick. It took them a few times to get it correct, but eventually they did. It took them only 2 tries to get it done. When they did it on their first try, they got word that they were using the wrong model, so they decided to try again. On the second try they actually found it, using the correct model.

The day they found it was February 28, at The University of Cambridge. The scientific tools they used to discover the double helix were a model structure building of DNA so far, (without the double helix). The second thing was x-ray crystallographic data from Rosalind Franklin. They're discovery was important to the scientific community, because it showed us more abut DNA. Learning about DNA is important, because because it gives us more info about what we're made of/our genealogical structure. It also could lead to scientific breakthroughs/new things and life saving things later in the future too.


James Watson had got quite a few awards. He won:

  • Nobel Prize

Sources & Citations

"James Dewey Watson." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

"The DNA Story." Www.rsc.org. Royal Chemestry Society, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.