Sunday, July 15, 2007

Meeting the DNA Man

In 1996, Dr James Watson, one of the discoverers of the double helix structure of DNA and winner of 1/3 of the Nobel Prize (in Physiology or Medicine) in 1962, came to KL and gave a public lecture on "DNA & Life". I heard about the event on a radio announcement and wrote in immediately for invitations. They were free for students, and I got three. So I went with my brestfriend and another friend. I was exhilarated beyond reason - meeting a Nobel laureate whom we have in our textbooks! A Nobel laureate who discovered the structure of DNA, and is still alive! I was so excited I made my bestfriend bring along her tape recorder, and I actually recorded the entire lecture (yes, I still have the tape... although I don't know if it will still play). At that time, I was obsessed with Nobel laureates.

the invitation

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself immensely throughout the lecture. My bestfriend followed it tolerably well, but our other friend was all bored out. Quite a number of the audience were bored - some were sleeping, some were talking or walking out (damn rude!) At the end of the lecture, I convinced my friends to stick around so that we could get an autograph from the man himself - Prof Dr James Watson. And we did! In fact, after we got his autographs, we asked his wife for autographs as well!

the good Nobel laureate Prof Dr Watson and his wife autographed our booklet on his profile page

This booklet and the invitation card have been my treasures since (as is evident in the above scans...) On Friday, I was having dinner with my bestfriend and I mentioned this (very significant) event to her, and proudly said that I still have the autographed booklet with me. And she said, with a careless laugh, that she's thrown hers away. @#$%!!! I can hardly believe it! (are you reading this, bestfriend?)

Any readers out there been to the same lecture in 1996? If you have asked for autographs like we did... don't throw them away!

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