The Nobel Prize

Leemor Joshua-Tor leemor at CSHL.ORG
Tue Sep 30 12:54:57 EST 1997


I've been reading the comments about Rosalind Franklin, Jim Watson,
Wilkins etc. and the Nobel Prize with quite a bit of disappointment.

I am wondering about that first talk that Cynthia Galloway talked about,
how much of the science itself was presented and how much of it was
gossip.
I think that the comment that was made that Watson and Crick didn't
put Rosalind Franklin on the paper does her a great injustice, since
if you look back at the original publications, they do acknowledge
the work but more importantly there were 3 papers published back
to back to back in Nature - the first presenting Watson and Crick's
model, the second presenting the experimental data by Wilkins, Stokes
and Wilson and the third presenting the experimental data by Franklin
and Golsing. Franklin published a separate paper with her data.
Her work was not ignored, but published side by side with Watson
and Crick's model.
She did great experminetal work but Crick with his development of
helical diffraction theory, Watson and Crick's great insight
of using Chargaff's rules and working out the base pairing, and using
molecular models to help them figure out how these pieces of information come
together are all great science. And I hope that scientists, especially
professors teaching biology would recognize great science regardless
of personality.
Otherwise, you are doing exactly what you are accusing Jim Watson of
doing.

The Noble Prize is given for a discovery, not for life work or anything
like that. And the people they are given too are sometimes outspoken
or very not politically correct or perhaps dress badly.




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  Leemor Joshua-Tor, Ph.D.
  Assistant Investigator
  Keck Structural Biology
  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory           Tel. (516) 367 8821
  1 Bungtown Road                         Fax  (516) 367 8873
  Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724            e-mail: leemor at cshl.org
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