[ASC-media] Click for Crick

Niall Byrne niall at byc.com.au
Tue Mar 18 13:42:07 EST 2003

Watson and Crick portrait auctioned to support developing world geneticists

The famous image of Watson and Crick with their DNA model will help
developing nations participate in the debate about the next 50 years of
genetics. The auction was announced in this week's Science.

James Watson and Francis Crick have signed an archive quality print which is
being auctioned online. The proceeds will assist delegates from developing
nations to join eight Nobel Laureates and hundreds of eminent speakers at
the International Congress of Genetics in Melbourne Australia.


Fifty years ago this week Watson and Crick announced their discovery of the
double helix - the structure of DNA - and started the genetics revolution
that's led to the mapping of human genome, GM crops, genetic medicine and so
much more. 

What will the next 50 years bring and what are the implications for the
human race?

The International Congress of Genetics will consider these issues in
Melbourne, Australia this July. 
"With eight Nobel Laureates and hundreds of eminent speakers, the debate
will be full and frank," says Dr Phil Batterham, Secretary General of the
Congress. "But it won't be complete without representation from the majority
of the human race who live in developing countries. They have the most to
gain, and the most to lose from the genetics revolution."

James Watson and Francis Crick have agreed to sign an archive quality print
of the universally recognized image of the two of them with their DNA model.
The photographer, Antony Barrington Brown, has also signed the print. The
print is being auctioned online with the proceeds going to assist delegates
from developing nations to attend the Congress.

"One hundred scientists from developing nations have applied for support to
attend the Congress," says Dr Batterham.
With this auction, and the support of our sponsors and the International
Genetics Federation we plan to invest a minimum of $100,000 to bring a
minimum of 50 of them to the Congress in Melbourne. 

"The practical use of genetics in the green revolution of the 20th Century
helped save millions of lives. In the 21st Century, genetics has an
essential role in contributing to global food security, health care and
social justice. But there are dangers as well. We will ensure that the
global implications of the new genetics revolution are fully debated and
discussed," says Phil Batterham.   "For this debate to be relevant
developing nations must be well represented.  Too often we stage such
debates in developed nations, we somewhat condescendingly talk about their
interests of people from developing nations, without having the decency to
seek their inputs.  The Genetics Congress will be different in this regard."

Bids for the print are open now at www.geneticscongress2003.com.

For further information about the Congress please contact the Congress Media
Officer, Niall Byrne, niall at byc.com.au or ph +61 3 5253 1391.

Media access to print quality versions of the image is available on the
media page at www.geneticscongress2003.com

Please acknowledge www.sciencephotogallery.com

Background information on the photo and the Congress is available at

Niall Byrne
Science Communication Consultant
Byrne Young Communication Pty Ltd
PO Box 199 Drysdale 3222 Australia
(185 Scotchmans Road Portarlington 3223)
Ph +61 3 5253 1391, fax +61 3 9923 6008, mobile 0417 131 977
niall at byc.com.au

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