Published On: Wed, Feb 18th, 2015

Simon Kuznet’s 1971 Nobel Prize in Economics Hits the Auction Block

Simon Kuznet's 1971 Nobel Prize is the first Nobel for Economics to go on sale

Simon Kuznets

It is only the fifth Nobel Prize to be auctioned and the first for Economic Sciences. The Nobel Prize awarded in 1971 to Simon Kuznet is going to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on February 26, and those bidding will do so online, according to a press release, and will begin at $150, 000.

Kuznet was a Columbia educated Harvard economist who developed the concept of Gross National Product as it is used today. The measurement, which uses macro economic factors, is also used worldwide. Kuznets was given the award on, “empirically founded interpretations of economic growth, which has led to new and deepened insight into economic and social structure and process of development.”

James Watson, who along with Francis Crick, discovered the sequence of human DNA, and he was the first living recipient of a Nobel Prize to sell it in December. Watson was awarded the Nobel in 1962. Alisher Usmanov, then Russia’s richest man, purchased the Nobel Prize for $4.7 million so he could give the award back to Watson. He said he sold the award not out of financial desperation, but for charity, since he felt like an “unperson” after remarks he made about genetics and race causes controversy.

Usmanov said, “In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognizing his achievements is unacceptable. James Watson is one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind and his award for the discovery of DNA structure must belong to him.” Usmanov, who is Muslim, married Jewish rhythmic gymnastics coach Irina Viner in 1992.



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