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The Francis Crick Papers

Title:
Letter from Francis Crick to James D. Watson pdf (141,544 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis Crick to James D. Watson
Description:
In his most forceful objection to Watson's plans for publishing The Double Helix, Crick here stated that "if I had known that you were going to write the sort of book you have written I would never have collaborated with you." In contrast to what Crick regarded as Watson's self-seeking attempt to cater to the public taste for gossip, Crick insisted "that I have always avoided all personal publicity."
Number of Image Pages:
2 (141,544 Bytes)
Date:
1966-11-01 (November 1, 1966)
Creator:
Crick, Francis
Recipient:
Watson, James D.
Source:
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
URL: http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/Exit
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Rights:
Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
URL: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/Exit
   Disclaimer; please review our Privacy Policy
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
DNA
Ethics, Professional
Exhibit Category:
The Discovery of the Double Helix, 1951-1953
Box Number: 75
Folder Number: PP/CRI/I/3/8/4
Unique Identifier:
SCBBLG
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Publication
SubSeries: Other Publications
SubSubSeries: Watson, The Double Helix
Folder: [Correspondence Concerning Publication]
Transcript:
1st November 1966.
Dear Jim,
I see I must write more plainly. I do not wish a highly personal account of our collaboration together to be made available to the general public. I consider it a gross invasion of my privacy and a breach of confidence on your part. The letter you sent me from Gordon N. Ray illustrates my point exactly. He writes "Though my ignorance of the scientific matters about which you write is abysmal, I still found your narrative absorbing in human terms". This is precisely what I most dislike.
You seem to forget that I have always avoided all personal publicity. I refused to let the New York Times do a profile of me. I have not appeared on British television except on two occasions when my friends have made it impossible for me to refuse. I never give permission for my photo to appear in textbooks. The public has every right to know about the structure of DNA. They have no "right" to know the intimate details of how it was discovered if they cannot follow the technical points involved and merely want to be entertained by the "human side". I can assure you that if I had known you were going to write the sort of book you have written I would never have collaborated with you.
May I suggest that you give your book to John Edsall to read, together with my various comments on it, and ask him for his opinion. I would be surprised if he felt you should publish it when Maurice and I object to it so strongly.
Yours sincerely,
F.H.C. Crick.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2008-10-16
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