Friend here criticized a potentially misleading statement Crick had made in his retrospective, "How to Live with a Golden
Helix" (The Sciences, vol. 19, Sept. 1979, pp. 6-9), about Rosalind Franklin's approach to science, namely that she
was overly concerned with producing definitive experimental evidence before drawing conclusions. Even though Crick became
a friend of Franklin's during the last five years of her life, he found it difficult to fully assess her role in the discovery
of the DNA double helix. He and Watson had relied on her experimental evidence in their discovery, but had done so without
her knowledge and without giving her full credit in their first published accounts of the DNA structure.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (67,978 Bytes)
1979-09-11 (September 11, 1979)
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Rosalind, I know from a number of her colleagues and from the books written about
her, that you were a good friend to her. You were especially kind during her illness and, had she lived a few years longer,
she would most likely have received the recognition she deserved. However, your article reflects the fact that you have never
accepted her as a first-class scientist. You mention her not in association with the Kings College data which you found so
encouraging, but only as a person who obstructed progress. In particular, you stress that she was "too determined to
be scientifically sound" although all researchers strive for scientific soundness. I would have had the same negative
reaction to such singling out of any scientist, regardless of gender.
I would be most interested in Dr. Klug's response to your letter.