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The beauty of the double helix model


Reactions to the papers we published
Francis Crick Scientist
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You remember we… we wrote two papers, there was the first one on April 25th with the accompanying ones from King’s [College London], but a month later we wrote another paper which was much clearer and more explanatory and spelled out the implications of the structure. That, in my mind, is the much more important paper, although it’s the first one that’s always cited because it was the first. And… but even so, I think a lot of people told me… or a number of people told me afterwards they’d read it and thought it was just another one of these crazy theoretical papers. And it was only, I think, when we went around talking to people about it, some people… attracted to the idea immediately. Other people never got round to liking it. And there was a whole spectrum of people in between. And gradually more and more people found the idea interesting. But it took some years before it was… I don’t know when it was… really began to look as if it was really… everything was in the right lines, but probably not till the early '60s, for example.

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: 25-04-1953, King’s College London

Duration: 58 seconds

Date story recorded: 1993

Date story went live: 24 January 2008