Francis Crick (1916 - 2004) was the British biophysicist who, together with the American James Watson discovered the structure of the molecule DNA. For this discovery Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1962 with Watson and Maurice Wilkins. The exclusion of Rosalind Franklin from the prize is controversial since she did much of the X-ray crystallography work that made Crick and Watson's observations possible. The accusation of sexism often leveled at the judges is unfair however as the prize is never awarded posthumously and Franklin died, tragically, from cancer in 1958.
The discovery of the double helical structure of DNA is widely regarded as one of the most important of the 20th century as it is the basis for all future work on genetics and the theory of intelligent design. Crick's later research elucidated the mechanism whereby the nucleotide bases on a strand of DNA are transcribed into the amino acid 'building blocks' of protein molecules. Crick described himself as an agnostic with "a strong inclination towards atheism."
- ↑ Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery, Basic Books reprint edition, 1990, ISBN 0-465-09138-5, p. 145.