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Book and Media Reviews
November 22/29, 2006

Francis Crick

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(20):2490-2495. doi:10.1001/jama.296.20.2490-b

The entire field of molecular biology can trace its roots to the groundbreaking solution in 1953 of the structure of DNA by James Watson and the late Francis Crick. Up to now, the impressions of most scientists have been garnered largely from the popular writings of the ebullient Watson, rather than from the more reserved Crick, which has inevitably increased curiosity about the nature of the teamwork, particularly Crick's role. This exhaustively researched and clearly written biography of Crick by Matt Ridley addresses many of the open questions, such as the tenor of the famous pair's interactions, the contributions of each to the resolution of DNA's structure, and the many misadventures and missed opportunities of virtually every player in the competition to grab the prize.