The late Francis Crick, one of Britain's most famous scientists, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962. He is best known for his discovery, jointly with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, of the double helix structure of DNA, though he also made important contributions in understanding the genetic code and was exploring the basis of consciousness in the years leading up to his death in 2004.
Well it was this encyclopaedia [TheChildren’s Encyclopaedia]. I think there was a book about… a popular book about scientists, but I don’t think that particularly influenced me, it was the encyclopaedia really, which must have come out in weekly installments. And I think I must have had the bound volumes of them, so that you got a bit every week of myths and science and history and I don’t know what, a little bit of simplified English literature and… and I read most of it, but the bit that really fascinated me was the science and I would say that that was a very strong influence. I mean, it was an influence but, of course, it worked on my natural curiosity. There were lots of other children who could’ve read the same thing and… ignored the science altogether, for example.