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The need for strong motivation in choosing a career


What makes science unique?
Francis Crick Scientist
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It’s the… it's the business of making reproducible observations which can be done by other people. They’re not necessarily repeatable because sometimes it’s unique observation, but it may be a one of a similar type, as when you look at one star and then look at another star, for example. It’s making observations. It’s setting up some theoretical model of what is happening, which… in nowadays, in these mature sciences, is usually related to other scientifically established things. It’s not in isolation. And then trying to make further observations or do experiments, if you can do experiments, to try and confirm or… or disprove these… these general ideas. And I don’t think you normally do that when you look at it… when… when…. that’s not the way the ordinary… most things are done.

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: star, science, scientific observation, experiment

Duration: 56 seconds

Date story recorded: 1993

Date story went live: 08 January 2010