The Third Man of the Double Helix: The Autobiography of Maurice Wilkins

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Oxford University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 274 pages
Quick, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the double helical structure of DNA? Most people would say Watson and Crick. But most people would make Maurice Wilkins very upset. The Rodney Dangerfield of biology, Wilkins shared the prize with Watson and Crick but missed out on the limelight, due largely to Watson's hit book, The Double Helix. Wilkins thought the book was so misleading he asked Harvard University Press not to publish it. Things have quieted down a bit now, and Wilkins is now telling the story his way. This book tells how he showed his colleagues the x-ray picture that gave them their crucial insight, and about his interactions with Rosalind Franklin, the researcher who actually created the picture, and who also received very little credit for her role in the discovery. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the DNA discovery. Finally Wilkins gets to have his say.

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User Review  - ashleypolikoff - LibraryThing

wilkins gets a bad rap -- and he knew it when he wrote this autobiography. some parts were strategically vague (my opinion) but the book offered his side of ths story, which was never touched upon ... Read full review

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User Review  - DonSiano - LibraryThing

scovery of the double helical structure of DNA. He was the guy who really got the study of the x-ray diffraction studies going, and showed that the features seen were universal to a variety of ... Read full review

About the author (2003)


Maurice Wilkins is Emeritus Professor at King's College London, and shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Crick and Watson for the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA.

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