Going Strong at 75

Roger Kornberg, one of Arthur's boys, has a Sydney Brenner story. We all do, but his is more telling than most.

Horace Freeland Judson
Mar 17, 2002


R

oger Kornberg, one of Arthur's boys, has a Sydney Brenner story. We all do, but his is more telling than most. Roger spent four years in the 1970s as a postdoc with Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in Cambridge, UK. Francis and Sydney shared an office with a blackboard toward the east end of the second floor; as we know from Jim Watson's The Double Helix. Francis does science in large part by talking, and Sydney is a talker. Sydney was also arduous at the bench. Typically, he arrived around noon and worked through until past midnight. The building had a library, quite good and comfortable, up the stairs at the west end. But the stretch of the second floor where Crick and Brenner worked had a room also called a library, with a few books and back...