James D Watson's Nobel Prize medal is to auction in a dedicated sale at Christie's New York on December 4 with a $2.5m-3.5m estimate.
Watson was awarded the medal for his work on unravelling the structure of DNA, alongside fellow researchers Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick and Rosalind Franklin.
Franklin, who took the x-ray that showed the DNA molecule, died four years before the team were nominated (the prize is never awarded posthumously).
The medal is offered alongside a letter of provenance from Watson that reads, in part: "I knew I would soon auction off my 1962 Gold Nobel Medal the moment I learned that Francis Crick's Gold Medal, May 2013, had been so sold for more than two million dollars�Ǫ
"Now I plan to give away to charitable bodies at least one half of my after taxes auction proceeds. My early days as a youthful ornithologist have made me long focused on the preservation of our local Long Island landscape�Ǫ
"Only through continued major philanthropy will the academic world provide environments where great ideas and decency prevail."
A letter from Francis Crick to his son outlining the discovery and its implications made $6m at Christie's last year, setting a new world record for a letter at auction.
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