From One Nobel Prize Winner to Another

JDW 02 02 1516 080

Ever since Dr. Watson won his Nobel Prize in 1962 people have been seeking his autograph.  As part of our digitization project, I'm creating metadata for these autograph requests and I'm plugging names into the Library of Congress Name Authority File to see if anyone of interest pops up.  I often wonder if the people who wrote to Watson later went on to achieve anything of note themselves.  


Well this morning I typed "Agre, Peter" into the search engine and was pleasantly surprised to find that Peter was in fact a fellow Nobel Prize winner.  Agre, who received the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of aquaporins, wrote to Watson in 1970 while he was studying medicine at Jones Hopkins.  Peter praised Watson for his work on The Molecular Biology of the Gene, and thanked him sending an autographed photo, which was now hanging up next to Pete's two other idols, Albert Einstein and Linus Pauling.  He concludes with the letter with, "I will always be grateful and inspired."  

I can't help but imagine that some future Nobel Prize winner has written (or tweeted) Agre himself -- and that in 50 years or so some archivist will be as amused by these connections as me.