Francis Crick: 1916-2004

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Francis Crick: 1916-2004
By Crypto86 (Crypto86) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit

One half of the "Father of DNA" has passed away yesterday at the age of 88. His contributions to science are revolutionary. He will be placed into the category of Newton, Einstein, and all other amazing scientists that have graced this Earth. Rest in Peace Mr. Crick.

News Link:

By Pookdogg (Pookdogg) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

He was a really smart Dude. Without him, Jurassic Park would not have been possible!

In all seriousness, Crick truly ranks among the greatest scientists of all time.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit


By Phantom (Phantom) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 02:13 pm: Edit

He was a great scientist, but unfortunately, I'm a bit biased towards him since my AP Bio teacher this year continually talked about how Watson and Crick ripped off their findings from Rosalind Franklin AND denied her credit in their Nobel Prize speech. The Double Helix movie also made them come off as jerks.

Still, he was probably a brilliant man nonetheless and his DNA revelation is one of the greatest milestones in biology.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Despite any of his faults, Francis Crick was a great thinker. I'm sad that he has passed on.

By Piman3141 (Piman3141) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Who was the really arrogant one, watson or crick?

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 05:27 pm: Edit

Very sad that he has left us... but Phantom is correct. Franklin actually had x-ray photos of the DNA structure, but did not make the double-helix connection. Though the Nobel cannot be awarded to those who have died, W&C certainly did a good job of taking the credit for themselves. Their work and the magnitude of their discovery would not have been undermined by ackowledging Frankin's role in it.

By Hayden (Hayden) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

They didn't rip off their findings from Franklin ! They snuck into her lab behind her back and looked at some of the pictures she'd taken, and which she refused to show to anyone. That may have been her right, but it was pretty cheesy of her. And cheesy of them, too. But she didn't put it all together, and she didn't know what her pictures meant yet. They were totally singleminded in their search for the structure of DNA, while she was more purely academically inclined.

Rosalind Franklin did come up with one of my favorite quotes of all time. When Crick & Watson first came up with a structure they thought was DNA (it wasn't), they called her in to look at the ugly model, and she said it wasn't DNA because "if it is true, it will also be beautiful". I love that line.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 06:36 pm: Edit

If that's true Hayden, then good for them! Scientists should not be withholding research from each other. And she obviously has gotten recognition for the discovery because most people who have heard of Crick/Watson have also heard of her.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

How rude of Ariesathena, Phantom, and Hayden to point out something like this in a thread dedicated to his DYING. It's glad to know there are people who are actually respectful (Demingy).

And Francis, R.I.P.!

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 10:16 pm: Edit

RIP, indeed. But the fact is, I don't think our discussing his accomplishments (and the merits therein) really has an impact on his resting in peace. But I've always been against eulogizing the dead, anyways. I just think it's useless to appreciate them after they're DEAD.

But anyways... the three posters are just stating criticism at attempts to glorify Crick. While acknolwedging his contributions is perfectly okay with me, I think saying, "Francis Crick is going down in history and I love him because he is the greatest," just because he's dead is going a little overboard. (I.e., why does it take his death to fully appreciate him?) And besides, it's not as though they're disparaging him. I think that would be a tad more disrespectful.

By Kewlkiwi102 (Kewlkiwi102) on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit

Rest in peace, Dr. Francis Crick. His work was critical to the development of science. So much would not ever have been possible if it had not been for his, Watson's, Franklin's and Wilkins' work. Thank you Dr. Crick for sharing your genius with the world, you will be sorely missed, especially within the scientific community.

By Demingy (Demingy) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 12:57 am: Edit

Very well said, Kewlkiwi102.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:00 am: Edit

I think the accusation that Watson and Crick took Franklin's work without due credit is ridiculous.
I've read their original paper published in Nature describing their theory regarding double helix structure of DNA, and in the paper they have specifically mentioned something like "with help from unpublished data from Dr. Franklin."
It's sad that Franklin died before the Nobel Prize, but it is not Watson and Crick's fault that they saw something in her data that she did not.
Basically, Franklin was a X-ray crystallographer. She had basically two kinds of pictures, the A-DNA and the B-NBA. The A-DNA has less water content and thus had far better resolution, and that's what she chose to work on.
The B-NBA, more biologically relevent, contained 1/3 water and the picture was not very well resolved. She chose to ignore B-NBA.
The B-NBA picture, however, was technically public knowledge, because Franklin presented that very picture in a seminar.
In addition, Watson and Crick knew for years that the DNA should be double helix with base pairing, but they needed something to actually put the puzzle together. They used Franklin's picture, and gave her credit for it.
If Franklin had not died so soon, she would definitely be the 3rd person receiving the Nobel Prize for Double Helix, instead of Maurice Wilkins.

By Ariesathena (Ariesathena) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:07 am: Edit

GoodChocolate: another thing that we will disagree on. I did try quite hard to balance my post; Watson and Crick's accomplishments were certainly great and a contribution to humanity.

Also, before you attack me, please read my posts carefully - my comments were certainly less rude and inflammatory than your own.

By Lethalfang (Lethalfang) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 02:47 am: Edit

Newton and Einstein though, are in the league of their own. No one else comes close, maybe until Edward Witten works out his complete String-Theory/Theory of Everything.
Comparing Francis Crick to these two is like comparing some ordinary all-stars like Carlos Beltran to legends like Babe Ruth.

By Abrandel05 (Abrandel05) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit

I agree LethalFang, Newton, Einstein, id add Da Vinci (cuz he was an all around genius) are all in a league of their own, though Francis Crick was a great scientist too i dont think hes Einstein. I dont think id put Edward Witten in the group of greatest scientists of all time either, just yet, those theories come and go. The real test of GENIUS is the test of time. I would say that Watson and Crick threw gas on the fire of the Genome Era, and for that they most certainly deserve a lot of credit. Nonetheless, Francis Crick deserves our respect for his contributions to science, and he will be remembered

By Demingy (Demingy) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

Unfortunately Francis Crick's other works have been overshadowed by the discovery of the double helix (and therefore the controversy surrounding it) but even the article linked above mentions some of his "other thinking". He was a very philosophical man, and one who put out some theories that I find very interesting. I believe that many of his theories will actually lead to advances in many parts of science, and I think that *this* is what he should be remembered for.

Maybe he wasn't an Einstein or Newton, but I really don't even think it is necessary to compare them.

By Hayden (Hayden) on Friday, July 30, 2004 - 10:22 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate, I'm afraid you totally misread my post. A previous poster (Phantom) said his/her bio teacher had said W&C had "ripped off" Franklin's work.

My post, if you actually read it (often a good idea prior to jumping on people) was a leap to Crick's defense by saying he & Watson did NOT rip off Franklin.

I will also say that not only are Watson, Crick & Franklin right up there on my list of most admired people, I will add that I respect these scientists enought to also respect the truth, and to respect facts. Anyone who understands what they did, will respect them. And I don't think they, as true scientists (which is a class they exemplified) would not appreciate you wanting us to ignore historical facts in pursuit of a false respect.

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