Watson and Crick

   James D. Watson      1928 - present

  James D. Watson

    1928 - present

 Francis Crick   1916 - 2004

Francis Crick

 1916 - 2004

"It has not escaped our notice..."

The journey took me into contact with the work of many great people in the history of science as it relates to human evolution. These included Carl Linnaeus, Charles DarwinGregor MendelTheodosius DobzyanskyErnst Mayr, and many others. Perhaps it is James Watson and Francis Crick that represent the seminal turning point in our understanding of this evolution. Their publication of the structure of DNA in 1953 was rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Maurice Wilkins. In their publication, they stated, “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.” What an understatement! That “possible copying mechanism” revolutionized our understanding of genes. Of course the "pairing" they were referring to is the famous double-helix configuration of DNA. The key to discerning the double-helix structure was based on the x-ray crystallography work of Rosalind Franklin who worked in the laboratory of Maurice Wilkins at Kings College in London. Many feel that Rosalind Franklin deserved to share in the Nobel Prize.

Click on links to other players in my journey below.