#458 Overall Influence

James Watson

American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist


Why is this person notable and influential?

James D. Watson is a zoologist, geneticist and molecular biologist. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. He is most recently well-known due to his controversial comments about race and genetics, for which he has been largely ostracized.

Prior to his unfortunate foray into racial genetics, he was highly regarded for his work on molecular biology. He is credited for significant contributions to our understanding of cancer, neurological diseases and the genetic basis for cancer and other diseases.

He worked closely with Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins on groundbreaking research on the structure of nucleic acid. Their work was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The discovery of the double helix is considered one of the more pivotal discoveries in science. He has also written a number of books, including a textbook, Molecular Biology of the Gene and The Double Helix.

His body of work has been undermined by his positions on homosexuality, obesity, intellect, and physical attractiveness - traits for which he promoted genetic manipulation. In his view, measures should be taken to selectively reproduce to increase intelligence or physical attractiveness, and to decrease “unfavorable” traits such as a propensity for obesity.

Featured in Top Influential Biologists Today

From Wikipedia

James Dewey Watson KBE is an American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist. In 1953, he co-authored with Francis Crick the academic paper proposing the double helix structure of the DNA molecule. Watson, Crick and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material". In subsequent years, it has been recognized that Watson and his colleagues did not properly attribute colleague Rosalind Franklin for her contributions to the discovery of the double helix structure.

Source: Wikipedia

Published Works

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Other Resources


What schools is this person affiliated with?

University of Chicago

Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

Harvard University

Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Bushnell University

Private university in Eugene, Oregon

Indiana University

University system, Indiana, U.S.

Indiana University Bloomington

Public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.

University of Cambridge

Collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

University of Auckland

University in New Zealand

Massey University

University in New Zealand

Notable Works

What contributions to academia has this person made?

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this person influential?
#15 World Rank
#98 World Rank
#210 World Rank
#3090 World Rank