Francis Crick, the guy who co-discovered the molecular structure of DNA back in 1953, died nine years ago. Along with James Watson, he won a Nobel Prize for the groundbreaking scientific discovery — but his family now wants to get rid of it. According to Heritage Auctions, bidding for the gold medal and diploma will start at, ahem, $250,000.
Nobody has tried to sell a Nobel medal in 70 years, so the final price will establish a new and interesting precedent as far as these things go.
ABC News reports on the motivations behind the sale:
Crick's family said a portion of the proceeds would go to the Francis Crick Institute, scheduled to open in London in 2015. The family said the new facility will be used in the search for cures for some of the world's most devastating diseases.
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic discovery of the structure of DNA and 50 years have passed since Francis Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize," said Kindra Crick, a granddaughter of the scientist, in a statement from the auction house.
"For most of that time, the Nobel Prize and the unique personal diploma have been locked up. By auctioning his Nobel it will finally be made available for public display and be well looked after. Our hope is that, by having it available for display, it can be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists."
The auction is scheduled for April 10 in New York City. Also for sale is an endorsed check Dr. Crick received for 85,739.88 Swedish Krona, and his old lab coat (which would be kinda cool to own).
Image: Heritage Auctions, Daniel Mordzinski AFP/Getty Images.