A Scene at the Conference

Dr. James WatsonIt's Saturday morning. At the break—between sessions where we learn that we are wet bags of crystals and chains whose manufacturing processes are ancient and found at the base of the tree of life—Dr. Watson arrives. He's immediately surrounded by fans thrusting their schedules or copies of his book A Passion for DNA at him, requesting his autograph.

Patiently, like a research rock star, he signs each book. A young Japanese woman runs up the auditorium stairs two at a time and retreives a disposable camera from her bag. She approaches him and asks with a bow if he will consent to a picture. She hands the camera to a stranger and in a moment Watson is surrounded on both sides by young, smiling Japanese conference attendees. Watson looks into the camera and offers a broad smile. They thank him and Watson turns to sit next to Bruce Stillman, the director of Cold Spring Harbor and a man who other Nobel laureates here have told us may get his own Nobel prize.




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