Oral history of British science

Wilkins, Maurice (12 of 12). National Life Stories: Leaders of National Life.

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  • Subjects

    Biophysics; Molecular Biology

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  • Interviewees

    Wilkins, Maurice, 1916-2004 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Rose, Steven (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 12: Maurice Wilkins [MW] talks about the early thoughts on double helix work, by him, by Jim Watson and by Rosalind Franklin, and the influence of television programmes and Anne Sayre's book (biography of Rosalind Franklin) on the episodes surrounding the DNA work. MW’s reaction to publication of Jim Watson's book which he tried to stop being published, together with Francis Crick. MW talks about his private life - first wife an art student and his own leanings towards the arts. Talks about his second wife's work in Rudolph Steiner School. She is now in bereavement counselling and works with a dance group. MW enjoyed the stimulus from a world outside science, but also had interest in human problems and liked and wanted children. MW has three children - aged from 30 down to 25. Talks about his thoughts on education, following the "establishment" ladder or not. His children avoided university - finds his own times and career easier in the pre-war and immediately post-war world.

  • Description

    Joint Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 with Francis Harry Compton Crick and James Dewey Watson for their work and discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material; DNA structure, described as double helix

  • Related transcripts

    Professor Maurice Wilkins interviewed by Steven Rose: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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