Russian billionaire returns $4.1m Nobel Prize to American geneticist
June 17, 2015, Russian Academy of Sciences President Vladimir Fortov gave back James Watson’s Nobel Prize medal Wednesday, in a ceremony in Moscow, six and a half months after the controversial geneticist sold the medal to raise money for various charities and potentially himself. Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov purchased the medal at auction in December with the intention of returning it to Watson.
“The returning of the Nobel Prize medal to James Watson is a wonderful and important event,” Fortov says in a press release emailed to Newsweek. “It is an acknowledgement of the scientist’s achievements and his contribution to global science. I am particularly pleased that this has taken place in Russia, here at the Russian Academy of Sciences, as Russia has a rich history in science and a tradition of philanthropy and patronage. Today’s event confirms once again that science and charity serve all of humanity and know no borders.”