Have you always thought a Nobel medal would make the perfect conversation piece in your Park Avenue pied-à-terre, but you're simply too dumb, ignorant or lazy to win one yourself? Are you too busy managing your hedge fund and re-configuring your Persian rug collection to dedicate the time and energy necessary to making groundbreaking discoveries in lepton physics or brokering peace in the Middle East? That's fine—this is America, a land where those who can't earn, buy.
Head to Christie's at 1 p.m. to bid on the Nobel medal of Dr. James Watson, a molecular biologist who was awarded the prize in 1962 for his groundbreaking discoveries in the structure of DNA, which revolutionized modern medicine. The majority of the proceeds will go toward his "philanthropic legacy of supporting scientific research, academic institutions, and other charitable causes."
But before you go scrounging around in the imported mohair fainting couch for the estimated $2.5 to $3.5 million the medal is expected to go for, you should know that Watson is kiiiiind of a dick—he was forced to retire in 2007 after questioning the intelligence of black people in his memoir. Asked to explain his statement, Watson told the Times that "he can't undo that."
"I do wish that I had been more careful in speaking about things I’m not expert in,” he said. Indeed. That comment may have been Watson's most egregious, but it was far from his first. Other greatest hits include the time he was quoted as saying "Whenever you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you're not going to hire them" and, a few years later, "People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty. I think it would be great."
But no need to sour your party guests' time with such unseemly details. If the questions become to much, take it down from the mantle and repurpose it as a teething ring for your infant daughter. She'll need something to occupy her while you sign the papers for her seasonal penthouse in the country's spikiest residential tower.