"We felt we could hardly omit any mention of your structure nor did we feel it reasonable
to suppress our doubts about it."
James Watson Francis Crick. Letter to Linus Pauling. March 21, 1953.
"So much good work has come from the Medical Research Council unit in Cambridge under
Perutz and Kendrew that I think it deserves the recognition of a Nobel Prize. I have
drafted a form of recommendation and I am enclosing the draft for your comments. I
need hardly say how much strength would be lent to it if you felt able to give your
The two main things are the body of work by Perutz and Kendrew which may now be fairly
claimed to have succeeded in getting out the structure of two protein molecules, and
incidentally shows how large a part of your d helix plays in it; and in the second
place there is the work on nucleic acid by Watson and Crick. Each of these, it seems
to me, is of Nobel Prize standard.
One must also take into consideration a number of other important contributions from
the laboratory, such as the work on virus, on sickle-cell anaemia, the beginning of
Huxley's work on muscle, and the work on collagen; it is an impressive record. As
an alternative I thought it might be well to suggest that the work of the unit as
a whole should be recognized by dividing a prize between its four leaders, Perutz,
Kendrew, Watson and Crick. Here I should be especially glad to have your views."
W.L. Bragg. Letter from Sir Lawrence Bragg to Linus Pauling. December 9, 1959.
"I thank your for your letter and the two new paragraphs of your preface to Watson's
book. I must say that I was shocked to read [The Double Helix], perhaps one of the
earlier drafts, after I had read your preface. I was indignant about the insinuation
about my wife and the statements about other people, but also indignant about Watson's
treatment of you. I do not think that you should give the book the support and validation
that would be implied by your having written a preface, even despite your disclaimer."
Linus Pauling. Letter from Linus Pauling to Sir Lawrence Bragg (The Royal Institution). May 17, 1967.
"And, as I recount in The Double Helix, I thought Bragg was just a stuffy old man when I met him. But he was a fine man.
He had a really keen interest in science, and he was certainly Francis's only competition
at the time, in the sense that he was a theoretician. And he had a difficult time,
because most people thought that it was his father who had been the clever one, whereas
it was the younger Bragg who'd made the running."
James Watson. Nature, 302: 652. April 1983.
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