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Luck in science
Francis Crick Scientist
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Of course we were lucky, we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. But we were thinking in the right sort of way, so it wasn’t just as we… just stumbled on it accidentally as if you were going for a walk and found a buried treasure, a lot of money or something on the ground. I mean, we were looking for something, we weren’t just wandering around aimlessly. But I think, possibly, the other thing is that I’ve been very lucky in the people I’ve been… had as close friends and I think I’ve been influenced by them, and also some of the older people I work… work for. I think I was… I was lucky.

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.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: luck, science, friend

Duration: 34 seconds

Date story recorded: 1993

Date story went live: 24 January 2008