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Vucurevich Foundation presents scientist James Watson

The John T. Vucurevich Foundation will host “An Evening with James Watson, Ph.D.,” at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theatre Tuesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. One of the great scientists of the 20th century, Watson discovered the secrets of DNA and won a Nobel prize for his groundbreaking research.

Tickets cost $5 and are on sale at the Rushmore Plaza box office. All seating is reserved.

In 1953 at the age of 24, Watson along with Francis Crick, discovered the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, unlocking the secret of the gene and unleashing the power of modern genetics. Everything from the now common pregnancy tests for Down's Syndrome through genetically modifed animals to the brave new world of human genetic selection can be traced back to that one great discovery. According to Time magazine, “DNA is likely to be the discovery made in the 20th century that will be the most important to the 21st.” For this incredible research, Watson along with Crick were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.

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Since then, Watson has used his fame to promote the cause of genetics and has sponsored significant work in the field, particularly in his role as president of the Cold Spring Harbor molecular biology laboratory in the United States.

Most famously and most recently, Watson has been the central figure in the Human Genome Project, a massive international project that aims to crack the whole of the human genetic code, opening up the possibility of gene based therapies for a host of diseases from breast cancer to depression.

The John T. Vucurevich Foundation sponsors national and international speakers who have a vision for the future, promote understanding and awareness in the world and who may be an inspiration to the people of Rapid City and the surrounding area. Previous guest speakers include Dr. Carl Sagan, Margaret Thatcher, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Dr. Jane Goodall, Ret. General Colin Powell, F.W. deKlerk and Carol Burnett.