Letter from Francis Crick to Lord Charles Percy Snow
The lecture to which Crick referred in this letter was in part a response to the work of William Shockley and, particularly,
of Arthur Jensen on what they considered the biological basis for differences in educational and economic achievement among
different racial groups. Crick's usage of racial designations followed conventions still prevailing in the 1960s.
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1969-04-17 (April 17, 1969)
Snow, Lord Charles Percy
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
I gave a talk to University College on 'The Social Impact of Biology' and the BBC subsequently broadcast a shortened
version of it. As I covered a very broad range of topics I decided not to publish it, and no manuscript exists as I spoke
from notes. As far as I remember I said that the biological evidence was that all men were not created equal, and it would
not only be difficult to try to do this, but biologically undesirable. As an aide I said that the evidence for the equality
of different races did not really exist. In fact, what little evidence there was suggested racial differences.
Had I enlarged on the subject I would have dwelt on the probable positive differences, such as, for example, the Jews and
the Japs, rather than speak only about Negroes. From what I hear you have bean saying something along these lines. I would
certainly love to see what you've written when you're satisfied with it.