Francis Harry Compton “Crackers” Crick

Francis Harry Compton “Crackers” Crick

Birth
Weston Favell, Northampton Borough, Northamptonshire, England
Death 28 Jul 2004 (aged 88)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea
Memorial ID 9201294 · View Source
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Scientist. He discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1962. Born in Great Britain in 1916, he studied physics at University College, London, graduating with a Bachelor in Science Degree in 1937, and during World War II, studied and built underwater mines for the Royal Navy. After the war, he became interested in the division between living and non-living, and taught himself biology and chemistry. Initially working for the Strangeways Research Laboratory at Cambridge, in 1949, he joined the Medical Research Council Unit, which housed the Cambridge Laboratory. In 1953, while working at Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, he and American, James Watson, discovered the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), suggesting it as the structure for viruses. In 1954, he obtained his PhD from Cambridge, writing a thesis on "X-Ray Diffraction," which he had used to discover the nature of DNA. Fifty years later, their work has spawned the biotechnology industry, with promising new innovative medical treatments such as gene therapy, use of DNA in law enforcement, and numerous, as-yet to be discovered benefits. He and James Watson shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery. In 1962, he was elected a Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was made a Fellow of University College. He was also a Fellow of Churchill College in Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Considered quick-witted and charming, he often spent much of his time just thinking. In 1977, he resigned from Cambridge University and began to work for the Salk Institute in San Diego, California. In the 1980s, he wrote "The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul" in which he argued that brain chemistry, and not some inner spirit or will, controlled everything we saw, felt or thought.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Created by: R
  • Added: 30 Jul 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9201294
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Harry Compton “Crackers” Crick (8 Jun 1916–28 Jul 2004), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9201294, ; Maintained by R (contributor 309) Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.