Letter from Francis Crick to the Editor of The Sciences
As this short note illustrates, Crick and Watson have struggled on several occasions over the course of their careers to fully
assess the contribution to the exposition of the DNA double helix made by Rosalind Franklin, on whose experimental evidence
they relied without her knowledge. Even here, Crick cited the words of Aaron Klug, Franklin's former collaborator, rather
than use his own words, to clarify a potentially misleading statement Crick had made about Franklin's approach to science
in in his retrospective, "How to Live With a Golden Helix" (The Sciences, vol. 19, Sept. 1979, pp. 6-9).
Item is a photocopy.
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1979-10-02 (October 2, 1979)
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
It has been pointed out to me, in particular by Dr. Aaron Klug, that part of a sentence I wrote in 'How to Live with a
Golden Helix' (your September issue) is ambiguous. The sentence refers to Rosalind Franklin and reads: "She was .
. . too determined to be scientifically sound and to avoid short cuts." I meant this to mean (using Klug's words)
that "she was determined to follow a conservative, x-ray analytical course and not allow other considerations to enter."
However it could be read to mean that she was too determined, and therefore was not scientifically sound. This was not my
intention. There is (again to quote Klug) "no doubt about the soundness of her work in the ordinary sense."