Lost correspondence of Francis Crick

Francis Crick is best known for his 1953 paper in Nature together with James Watson about the structure of DNA, which they put together with data from Rosalind Franklin and Ray Gosling.
In fact, this was their second attempt after a fatally flawed proposed structure where the phosphates were on the inside. Many books have been written about this period in the UK, because there were many things happening: misappropriation of scientific data, infighting, competition between different research labs, personal antipathies. And of course, the awarding of the Nobel prize to Crick, Watson and Wilkins in 1962: this was the only objective of honest Jim Watson. (unfortunately, the one person who made it all possible, Rosalind Franklin, and without whose data the others would not have been able to propose the DNA structure, by that time had passed away and was therefore not eligible for the Nobel prize).

The best and most objective book about this period is undoubtedly the biography of Rosalind Franklin ("Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA") by Brenda Maddox, which followed decades after the publication of "The Double Helix" by Jim Watson, and "What Mad Pursuit" by Francis Crick.

Much of the details remained however unclear, also because the correspondence of Francis Crick was apparently lost in the 1970s; now it turns out that it just had been misplaced, and many new details about this period has become clear, as reported recently in Nature. An interesting read!
Nature comments

PS. Note also the review in Nature of a play by Anna Ziegler entitled Photograph 51.


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