Crick here speculated about the course the discovery of the double helix might have taken "if Rosalind Franklin had let
us see the details of her X-ray work," some of which was in fact supplied to Watson and Crick by Maurice Wilkins and Max
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1970-11-27 (November 27, 1970)
Tobin, Douglas R.
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
This is a brief reply to your letter of November 20th.
I think it is impossible to say what would have happened if Rosalind Franklin had let us see the details of her x-ray work
before we built the DNA model. For example, we might have suggested some of our ideas to her and she might have solved the
structure by herself. Alternatively, we might have been so preoccupied in trying to test the details that Linus Pauling might
have had another shot and solved the structure.
About our initial theory, it is normal for scientists working in the same field to have informal discussions about their ideas
before publication. This is avoided only by people who are unduly worried about priority.
On your last question, it was natural that once we knew how DNA was replicated that we should attempt to find out how it influenced
the rest of the cell.