Oral history of British science

Perutz, Max (Part 13 of 19). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Molecular Biology

  • Recording date

    2001-06-30, 2001-08-18, 2001-09-15, 2001-10-06, 2001-10-27, 2001-11-29, 2001-12-08

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Cambridge, UK

  • Interviewees

    Perutz, Max, 1914-2001 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 13: In October 1947 MP got his MRC appointment (Research Unit for the study of te molecular structure of biological systems) later shortened to 'Molecular Biology'! It was housed in te physics department of the Cavendish Laboratory, he explains why they were there. MP now talks some more about his latest work and dsicovery and explains details and its importance. He is writing it up for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington - they are quicker in publishing. Back to 1947 - his appointment to MRC as 'Director of Research Unit' meant security even though due to scrutiny every few years. At the time only two members, Kendrew and himself. Francis Crick joined in 1949 as research student. A lively addition. First thing Crick did was to prove MP's model of haemoglobin to be incorrect - explains how and why. More about Crick and his career and work on cytoplasm and why he wanted to join MP. MP accepted the fault in his model. Explains why such tolerance only possible in Cambridge! Crick continued to work on phase problems in X-rays, later Hugh Huxley joined team and Watson joined in 1951 coming from Copenhagen.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist and author Max Perutz is interviewed about his life and work. Mentor to James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA, Perutz died before this interview could be completed.

  • Related links

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

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