WATSON, James D. “The Involvement of RNA in the Synthesis of Proteins.” Original Holograph Manuscript for Watson’s Nobel Lecture delivered on December 11, 1962. 46 pp., 4to in blue ink on rectos only.
On 30 October 1962, Crick wrote to Watson explaining that the celebratory party in Cambridge had gone well. In the same letter (see p. 36), Crick discusses the Nobel Lectures, proposing that Wilkins deals with the structure, Watson discusses RNA and Crick covers the genetic code: “This is mainly to discuss the question of the prize lectures, as we have to divide the subject between us. I feel that Maurice should deal with the actual structure. Personally I am against anything in the way of a historical account of the work. Actually the citation includes ‘its significance for information transfer’. Do you think that you should talk about messenger RNA, and that I should discuss the acridine mutants and the light they shed on the code? I feel it would be foolish to include mechanism of DNA replication as Kornberg covered that. However, I expect you have your own ideas… Odile and Michael and the two little girls are all coming. The program looks very strenuous, but I’m told it’s all quite fun. Yours ever, Francis.”
“My forthcoming Nobel address soon preoccupied me at Harvard. Maurice was to give his talk on his King’s College lab work confirming the double helix; Francis would focus on the genetic code; and I would talk about the involvement of RNA in protein synthesis. Happily, my Harvard science of the past five years was equal to a Nobel lecture. By then I had bought the necessary white-tie outfit at the Cambridge branch of J. Press, whose first shop in New Haven had long been purveyor par excellence of preppy clothing to Yale’s undergraduates. Soon after coming to Harvard, I had begun getting my suits at their Mt. Auburn Street store, finding their clothes to be among the few available that ft my still-skinny frame. Perhaps sensing my high spirits, the salesman easily persuaded me also to purchase for the august occasion a black cloth coat with a fur collar.” —James D. Watson, The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix, edited by Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski, Cold Spring Harbor, 2012, p. 248.
This lot comprises James Watson’s archive for his Nobel Lecture delivered in Stockholm on December 11, 1962, and includes: a manuscript outline for the Lecture, his 46-page holograph manuscript, a two-page holograph draft of the “Legends to Figures” used to caption the illustrations in the paper (along with a typed version with annotations), four corrected typed or carbon drafts of the Lecture, a mimeographed copy (blue wrappers), and a copy of the published offprint of the Paper. With an unsigned typed carbon of a letter sent from JDW to Nils K. Stahle, Director of the Nobel Foundation, submitting a revised version of the Lecture. 13 February 1963. One page, 4to.
As Watson’s papers are in the archives of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ANY SIGNIFICANT SCIENTIFIC MANUSCRIPT BY THE CO-DISCOVERER OF THE STRUCTURE OF DNA IS EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE IN THE MARKET—THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY SCIENTIFIC MANUSCRIPT BY JAMES WATSON EVER OFFERED AT AUCTION, NOR IS THERE LIKELY TO BE IN THE FUTURE.