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Letter from James Watson and Francis Crick to Linus Pauling. March 21, 1953.
Watson and Crick write to forward a copy of their unpublished letter to Nature which describes the DNA structure that they have formulated. They add that their structure is scheduled to be published in tandem with work that has been done by colleagues at Kings College.


March 21 1953

Dear Dr. Pauling

We intended to write to you about our DNA structure before this, but one of us (J.W.) has been away in Paris and we have also been delayed because Professor Bragg has been down with flu. We enclose a draft of a letter to Nature which gives the essential features of our structure. We have a model of it and have derived co-ordinates; all of the Van der Waals distances are acceptable.

We felt we could hardly omit any mention of your structure nor did we feel it reasonable to supress our doubts about it. Without your permission we could not mention that you have modified it. However we can always qualify our remarks in proof.

It is planned that the Kings College workers will publish some of their experimental data at the same time as our letter. Wilkins tells us that he intends to send you a copy of their communication in advance of publication as soon as it is in final draft.

We are looking forward very much to your visit and the opportunity for a full discussion about DNA. Would you mind treating this as confidential for a few days as Professor Bragg has still not been able to hear about it.

Yours Sincerely

Jim Watson

Francis Crick

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