Francis Crick dies

The master of science and arguably the founder of molecular biology was 88

Pete Moore(pete.moore@dial.pipex.com)
Jul 28, 2004

Francis Crick, known for his discovery with James Watson of the double helix but described as a biologist colleague as "the absolute master in a way that nobody else in that generation was," died yesterday of colon cancer (July 28) in San Diego, California. He was 88.

"If all you think of with Francis Crick is the double helix, then you don't know the man," Crick's Cambridge contemporary and Nobel Prize winner Aaron Klug told The Scientist. Although Crick did perform many of the intellectual somersaults that revealed DNA's double helix—work for which he shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—that was only one of the world-changing discoveries that littered his career, according to Klug. While many of his achievements are now so established that they are the stuff of the school curriculum, in their time, each was the pinnacle of scientific achievement.

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