Watson, James: American biologist (1928-) who, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, shared the 1962 Nobel prize in Medicine and Physiology, "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material." The discovery of the structure of DNA as a double helix by Watson and Crick (with assists by Wilkins and, especially, by the uncredited Rosalind Franklin) was at the heart of this award.
In his Nobel presentation speech, Professor A. Engstrom, stated to Drs. Crick, Watson, and Wilkins: "Your discovery of the molecular structure of the deoxyribonucleic acid, the substance carrying the heredity, is of utmost importance for our understanding of one of the most vital biological processes. Practically all the scientific disciplines in the life sciences have felt the great impact of your discovery. The formulation of double helical structure of the deoxyribonucleic acid with the specific pairing of the organic bases, opens the most spectacular possibilities for the unravelling of the details of the control and transfer of genetic information."