Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Crick's Nobel Medal Fetches $2.3 Million At Auction

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the with-a-side-of-crazy dept.

The Almighty Buck 53

ananyo writes "Francis Crick's Nobel medal fetched US$2.27 million at an auction in New York yesterday. The proud new owner is Jack Wang, chief executive of 'Biomobie' a company that intends to sell walnut-sized, flying-saucer-shaped electromagnetic devices that it claims have medically regenerative powers. The closely-watched sale featured a range of Crick memorabilia that the family had kept in storage for many years. Up for auction along with the medal — awarded for Crick's role in the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA — were his lab coat, sailing logbooks and garden journals. Expectations were high because the day before, auctioneer Christie's had brokered the sale of a letter from Crick (PDF) to his 12-year-old son for $6 million, more than triple the pre-sale estimate. The letter went to an anonymous bidder. The new owner of the Crick medal is a Chinese-born American who says his motivation for purchasing the medal was to stimulate research into the 'mystery of Bioboosti,' which, he says, produces electromagnetic stimulation that can 'control and enable the regeneration of damaged organs.' Those benefits are, needless to say, so far unproven. Crick's family has said it will donate at least 20% of the proceeds from the sale of the medal and other items to the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre scheduled to open in London in 2015."

cancel ×

53 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436141)

So basically a quack bought his medal?

Re:LOL (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#43436503)

Exactly, James Randi has already outed this fraud on the JREF site.

Re:LOL (1)

narcc (412956) | about a year ago | (#43438845)

I suspect that your post in the comments section outing him as a fraud will get more views than Randi's blog post.

Undoubtedly, your post will more views by those who need to see it most!

They should have raised the price... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436155)

...by an order of magnitude, once they realized the buyer was a science-hating scammer. Crick would be pissed.

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | about a year ago | (#43436209)

I totally agree. I feel sad for science now that this guy has one of the truly greats Nobel Medals.

Re:They should have raised the price... (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43436255)

Science is powerless against its arch-enemy, Popular Bullshit :-(

Re:They should have raised the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436307)

I feel sad for humanity, knowing about this person having so much money in his hands...

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43436343)

Well, he now has $2.3 million less in his hands due to the miracle of the marketplace.

Taking bets ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436327)

Taking bets that somehow, somewhere, these items will be used to market his products.

And we'll have the folks who are duped by spurious claims to point and think or justify to their skeptical friends, "See! A Noble prize winner is associated with this!"

1000000 -1 that nothing comes of it.

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436257)

Look at it this way, the scammer has 3 million less dollars now.

Re:They should have raised the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436341)

Should have been 30.

Re:They should have raised the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436565)

No he has 2.3million less liquid wealth, and an investment that could end up netting him even more money in a few years.

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43436265)

...by an order of magnitude, once they realized the buyer was a science-hating scammer. Crick would be pissed.

Don't you think that Crick would have been amused to see a quack shell out good money for a little chunk of metal that(outside of its honorary context) isn't worth nearly what he paid?

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436459)

He got some nice PR out of it for his quack product, that I bet he's selling for a nice lump of cash each.
I wouldn't bet on him being on the bottom of the chump pyramid.

If you're amused by that, I think you're the kind of optimist who, when I piss on your grave, would say "Ha, ha, now you're dehydrated!"

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43437513)

I think you're the kind of optimist who, when I piss on your grave, would say "Ha, ha, now you're dehydrated!"

I imagine he wouldn't say anything at all. Being dead and all.

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about a year ago | (#43436311)

I imagine he'd be more pissed he was born in China. Crick was kinda racists.

Re:They should have raised the price... (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43436471)

He liked Chinese,
He liked their tiny little trees,
Their yen, their ping-pong, their yin and yangese ....

(I'll shut up now but for what I recall having met him at a single, wine fueled dinner, he liked Oriental cultures and people. He sided with Shockley / Jensen about the genetic nature of intelligence but wasn't seemingly all that wound up about it. You may be confusing Crick with James Watson who was openly and shockingly racist and got tossed off the lecture circuit and out of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory [blogspot.com] .)

Re:They should have raised the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436735)

He wasn't but even if he was here's the response: Meh! Racist? So what!

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43437493)

Racists don't automatically have a hate on for China. That's like saying conspiracy theorists agree on how many shots were fired from the Grassy Knoll.

Re:They should have raised the price... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43439697)

Click was lacist? [youtube.com]

Let the quack have the medal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436177)

The money can actually help people.

Perfectly legit (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43436199)

Buying a nobel medal is exactly the same as earning one. It's articles like this that remind me how soulless people with large amounts of money can be.

Re:Perfectly legit (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43436563)

You lost me with the first sentence...

Re:Perfectly legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43437657)

Maybe he wants to earn Crick's intelligence by wearing his medal. It's common among primitive tribes, and this guy seems to have stuck on that level.

If I was Crick... (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | about a year ago | (#43436285)

I would come back from the dead to slap my descendants for allowing this guy to have my Nobel price.

Re:If I was Crick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436357)

I would come back from the dead to slap my descendants for allowing this guy to have my Nobel price.

I would congratulate them for being able to separate a fool from his money, and directing a decent portion of that money towards furthering actual scientific research. Why would Crick care about that piece of metal?

Re:If I was Crick... (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43436499)

Unfortunately, the "fool" hasn't lost much (unlike the suckers he scams into buying his magic beans): he's got the medal, which he could presumably sell for nearly what he paid to the runner-up in the auction. In the meantime, the "fool" gets free advertizing for his medical scams. The Crick estate should give the Wang a cheesy gold-plated cast-lead knockoff of the medal, in honor of the authenticity of Wang's own "medical products".

Re:If I was Crick... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436549)

I would come back from the dead to slap my descendants for allowing this guy to have my Nobel price.

A nobel prize for the discovery of DNA goes to a modern day charlatan making money off the uneducated population. Well done - Crick family - well done. I hope you're proud.

Re:If I was Crick... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43440487)

I would come back from the dead to slap my descendants for allowing this guy to have my Nobel price.

A nobel prize for the discovery of DNA goes to a modern day charlatan making money off the uneducated population. Well done - Crick family - well done. I hope you're proud.

Regression to the mean?

Re:If I was Crick... (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43436557)

Slap them for selling it. Do not slap them for selling it to the highest bidder.

I already told my parents that if they leave anything for me to inherit, I will sell it. If they want something to be in the family in the future, they should give it NOW to my sister.

If they want somebody else to have it, they should give it NOW to whomever they want to have it.

So if he needs to slap somebody, he should slap himself for not seeing to it that it landed where he thought it should go. Or perhaps he did and he very well knew they would be selling it.

Anyway, it was theirs to do with as they pleased.

Cue Indiana Jones... (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about a year ago | (#43436383)

"That belongs in a museum!"

2.3 million.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436391)

I guess that is a reasonable sum for a worldwide advertising campaign.

How did the quack get so much money anyway? (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#43436533)

What intrigues me is the fact that when I search Bioboosti/Biomobie, nothing much interesting comes up about that company. I wonder how Jack Wang is funding his company. I also want to know more about this mysterious new owner. Does he have any link to the top brasses in China?

Re:How did the quack get so much money anyway? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43437527)

I imagine anyone in China who can just drop $2.3 million on a piece of medal has some sort of connection with the brass, if only because they do business with state and crony-owned firms.

Re:How did the quack get so much money anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43439767)

I imagine anyone in China

He doesn't live en China... You didn't even bother to read the summary... :)

Re:How did the quack get so much money anyway? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43440307)

From the article:

The proud new owner is Jack Wang, chief executive of a Chinese company that intends to sell electromagnetic devices that it claims have medically regenerative powers.

Now he might occasionally live in the US, since the summary claims that he's a "Chinese-born American". But the only evidence for that citizenship is a claim made by Jack Wang himself.

I am not sure if Cricks would be happy... (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#43436543)

Cricks received this medal for reaching the pinnacle of science research at his time. Now the medal is going to be given to a quack...

Re:I am not sure if Cricks would be happy... (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43436721)

His family is now $2+ million richer in exchange for a chunk of worthless metal that was simply a physical symbol of a non-transferable honor paid to him. What's not to like? I hope my own family can benefit half that much from my collected memorabilia - after I pass on it becomes just a bunch of junk by any objective measure.

Let the history books and ongoing work of his peers honor his works, if his family kept mementos of his life I would hope they would be those that help them remember the man they knew, rather than the work that no doubt pulled him away from them.

Re:I am not sure if Cricks would be happy... (1)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#43437013)

His family is now $2+ million richer in exchange for a chunk of worthless metal that was simply a physical symbol of a non-transferable honor paid to him.

Well, you said it yourself, that piece of metal is worth "$2+ million". It probably would be worth more, if his family keep it for longer.

Re:I am not sure if Cricks would be happy... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43437579)

Perhaps, the market for collectibles can be somewhat unpredictable. And you must factor in the growth potential of the money as well - a multi-million dollar purse opens many opportunities not available to most poeple - invested wisely it could almost certainly grow much faster than the market for a historical memento.

Also, be careful about conflating worth with market price - the two are largely unrelated to each other. At one extreme I challenge you to find anything with a greater worth or lower price than air.

Re:I am not sure if Cricks would be happy... (2)

jbengt (874751) | about a year ago | (#43437183)

Meh. It should have gone to Rosalind Franklin, anyway.

Another minute, another sucker born... (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43436605)

Wow, this is just like the "No, You Can't Name That Exoplanet" article. Idiot believes object has mysterious powers: both the Crick Nobel medal and the wacky magna-doofuck-oodle are the objects. Or maybe the guy is like L. Ron Hubbard: he knows his magnets are crap, but he believes that being the current holder of the "Francis Crick Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology" confers upon him the special power of marketing and he can convince morons to buy his crap. "Why what I say must be true!! They wouldn't sell this Authentic Nobel Prize Medal to just anyone with enough money, would they?"
.
It's the same as idiots believing in religious relics, or copper wrist-bands, or magnets along your skin, or even that quacky "blue tape" for atheletes [nytimes.com] that idiots put on their arms and legs at the olympics thinking the blue tape would give them magic healing abilities.

Watch and learn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43436745)

"In April 2013 J. Wang received the medal for outstanding achievements in biology from the estate of Francis Crick, the famous inventor of the DNA"

It's a bit rough with details - Hey, it would be too long to write out "famous biologist, renowned for etc."! - but technically true, right? And it will fit nicely in our ads and on cover of our booklets.

Re:Another minute, another sucker born... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43439689)

It's the same as idiots believing in religious relics, or copper wrist-bands, or magnets along your skin, or the intrinsic value of bitcoins.

FTFY.

Interesting SF First Editions in that Auction (1)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year ago | (#43437467)

That same auction featured a lot of interesting science fiction first editions [lawrenceperson.com] , including a true first of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that went for $43,750, and an inscribed first of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds went for $35,000.

"It has not escaped our notice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43438043)

that the specific price realized at auction for Francis' medal is likely to be several times what the buyer's creditors will obtain for same once the company goes under.

Medical flying saucer magnets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43438123)

Disappointed that you missed the auction? Don't worry - it'll be back up on the block soon enough...

Hey hey!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43439015)

That guy was on LSD when he made the discovery!!

So can Jack Wang claim to have a Nobel medal now ? (1)

giorgist (1208992) | about a year ago | (#43439517)

It appears that this Jack Wang can claim to have a Nobel medal in his advertising and he would be syntactically correct !!!

huh huh (1)

BUTT-H34D (840273) | about a year ago | (#43439825)

Jack Wang. Huh huh. Heh heh. Does he, like, Jack his Wang? Huh huh huh.

$2.3 for someone else's medal? (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about a year ago | (#43440929)

WTF.

I dont understand all the hype about Watson & Crick .. Linus Pauling or Bragg were going to get there too after they recovered from their errors (they didn't have Rosalinds photos). Furthermore, we already knew about DNA, they just figured out its structure .. which is important .. well F it I am going to say it's not THAT important compared to knowing for example .. that DNA exists, that DNA is a sequences of nucleotides etc. Who actually discovered DNA? Who actually discovered that DNA contains the genetic code? Few people know. Actually I had to wikipedia it myself, cause teachers don't tell you and books don't cover it.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>