Dr James Watson, one of the scientists credited with discovering the structure of DNA, has this evening formally inaugurated a sculpture of the double helix molecule at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin.

The Charles Jencks designed sculpture is designed to mark the discovery of the DNA structure six decades ago and the contribution of Irish scientists in advancing genetic knowledge.

The sculpture was given by a number of private donors to the Irish people.

Sixty years ago last Thursday, Watson and Francis Crick published a paper in the scientific journal Nature, that revolutionised our understanding of genetics.

The paper set out the first ever description of the double helix structure of DNA, and explained how it was able to replicate identical copies of itself.

The discovery opened up a vast new world of research, and led to discoveries and advancements in a whole range of areas, including medical treatment, crime detection and food production.

The paper led Watson and Crick, along with another researcher, Maurice Wilkins, to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962.

The event was attended by leading academics and researchers in the world of genetics, relatives of Watson and Wilkins, Charles Jencks, Minister of State Brian Hayes and other invited guests.