In this week's Life magazine, a nine-page feature focuses on Nobel Prize-winner James D. Watson, professor of Biology, and examines his past work with DNA and his present research with cancer.
The article released yesterday, is entitled "Genius on the Prowl" and gives a personal look at how Watson operates in his search for a cure of cancer. The problem of how cancer works has been of prime importance to the Nobel Prizewinner for two and a half years.
Watson confessed he has been worried about the Life article for about two weeks. However, the anxiousness was not about what the article might say but what the consequences of the Life publicity would mean to his work, he said.
The publicity that accompanies a public figure often is followed by as he said, "300 crank letters," which ask for time consuming commitments that draw him away from his work. For this reason he didn't even want to look at the article when shown to him at his lab yesterday.
Life portrays Watson as a dedicated scientist who views his task of curing
cancer as "certainly more impossible than figuring out the from of the DNA molecule and infinitely more complicated than landing a man on the moon."
According to the article, "Watson's particular kind of thinking has had a remarkable effect on the section of the biology lab at Harvard that he directs with Dr. Walter Gilbert, and made it, many feel, the most productive in the country."