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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from Francis Crick to Lawrence Bragg pdf (123,479 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Francis Crick to Lawrence Bragg
In his campaign to prevent publication of Watson's book, The Double Helix, Crick tried to enlist the support of Sir Lawrence Bragg, a Nobel Prize winner and director of the Cavendish Laboratory during the years of Crick's collaboration with Watson. Bragg had agreed to write a foreword for the book, which was to be published by Harvard University Press.
In his letter Crick also discussed the problem of making science comprehensible for lay audiences, one of the purposes of Watson's book.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (123,479 Bytes)
1967-02-23 (February 23, 1967)
Crick, Francis
Bragg, Lawrence
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
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Reproduced with permission of the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
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:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Publication
SubSeries: Other Publications
SubSubSeries: Watson, The Double Helix
Folder: [Correspondence Concerning Publication]
23rd February 1967.
Dear Sir Lawrence,
I wrote to President Pusey to ask that the Harvard University Press should give an undertaking that they would not accept Watson's revised version for publication before Wilkins and I had the opportunity to comment on it. I thought they were certain to agree to this and was therefore very surprised to get a letter from Pusey, a copy of which I enclose, together with my own reply. I wonder if I could ask you to use your influence to persuade President Pusey that we should have a chance to comment on the revised version, especially from the point of view of its historical accuracy. There does not seem much point in Watson revising his book if the revised version is just as inaccurate as the previous one. If you could find time to drop a note to Pusey I would be most grateful.
I hope you enjoyed your trip to the States. I have been reading, with considerable interest, your paper on how to give a lecture. I remember being very impressed with this when I heard you give an earlier version of it some years ago. I wish I could remember when I am lecturing to follow all your advice! I wonder if you have ever considered writing about the parallel problem of making a scientific paper intelligible. I picked up a number of tips from you in the days when we were in the Cavendish, but however hard we try our papers never seem to be quite as easy for other people to read as they are for us. Of course some papers are so technical that they can only be read by experts but from time to time we want to reach a wider audience and I would certainly be interested about anything you had to say on the best way to do this.
Yours sincerely,
F.H.C. Crick.
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