Oral history of British science

Klug, Aaron (Part 11 of 31). National Life Stories Collection: General

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  • Subjects

    Biophysics; Chemistry

  • Recording date

    2002-10-29, 2002-11-03, 2002-11-20, 2002-11-27

  • Recording locations

    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge

  • Interviewees

    Klug, Aaron, 1926-, (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Thompson, Katherine (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    AK discusses pre-war work on viruses. Discusses work with Rosalind on tobacco mosaic virus and explains causes for changes in viruses. AK explains in detail his work after Rosalind's death and why his previous work on steel was useful. AK's visit to Cambridge where it was suggested that he and Rosalind get grant from National Institute of Health for 3 years (£10.000). They bought centrifuge, started to get to know people in MRC unit in Cambridge working with X-ray systems. After Rosalind died AK got improved salary, became head of group, and had 2 research students and technician. In 1961 AK was appointed to MRC staff but did not move until 1962 (lab was not ready). Rosalind left AK £3000 in her will which enables him to buy house in East Finchley. AK's wife went back to S.A. for 5 months to see her parents. AK worked as 'ghost translator' for science books to earn more money. More about research salaries and about Bernal who was busy with many committees but took interest in their work and about some of his ideas. More about Rosalind and Watson's book in which he ignored Rosalind (but AK put it right). Talk about Crick and Watson's commencement of work on DNA - explains why at first it was not accepted but AK saw model and believed it.

  • Description

    Nobel Prize-winning chemist Aaron Klug in conversation about his life and work. Klug is most famous for his research into crystallographic electron microscopy.

  • Related links

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

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