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Agent provocateur pursues happiness

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7252.12 (Published 01 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:11

Clare Thompson and Abi Berger profile James Watson, one of the Nobel laureates who discovered the structure of DNA

While the rest of the biological world were anxiously awaiting the announcement of the sequencing of the human genome, James Watson, one of the discoverers of the DNA double helix and one of the original instigators of the genome project, was busily engaged in his new obsession—the pursuit of happiness.

From a man who graduated from college at the age of 18, began his graduate career at the age of 19 at Indiana University, and spent the next six years trying to understand the gene (arriving at the structure of DNA at 25, with a resultant Nobel prize at the age of 34), such an esoteric goal might seem trivial. Still, Dr Watson seems to be tackling the subject with the same passion and sweeping mode that characterised the book The Double Helix, one of the most widely read scientific books of all time and named by the literary committee behind Random House Modern Library as number seven of the 100 most important books of the century.

Dr Watson unveiled his new theory at London's University College Hospital last …

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