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Reply #67: An excerpt from Wiki on this story [View All]

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Ian_rd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
67. An excerpt from Wiki on this story
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_D._Watson :

In 1968 Watson wrote The Double Helix, one of the Modern Library's 100 best non-fiction books. The account is the sometimes painful story of not only the discovery of the structure of DNA, but the personalities, conflicts and controversy surrounding their work. It was originally to be published by Harvard University Press, but after objections from both Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, among others, Watson's home university dropped the book and it was instead published by a commercial publisher, an incident which caused some scandal. Watson's original title was to have been "Honest Jim", in part to raise the ethical questions of bypassing Franklin to gain access to her X-ray diffraction data before they were published. Watson seems to have never been particularly bothered by the way things turned out. If all that mattered was beating Pauling to the structure of DNA, then Franklin's cautious approach to analysis of the X-ray data was simply an obstacle that Watson needed to run around. Wilkins and others were there at the right time to help Watson and Crick do so. Also in 1968, Watson became the director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and in 1974 made the CSHL his permanent residence.

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This is certainly one of those sad moments in scientific history when collaboration and learning from your peers led to someone crossing the finish line first and screaming "Me, me, me! Look what I did!"
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