‘Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA’ - Dr Gareth Williams' book launch
Dr Gareth Williams
Tyndall Lecture Theatre, Physics Building
DNA. The double helix; the blueprint of life; and, during the early 1950s, a baffling enigma that could win a Nobel Prize.
Everyone knows that James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix. In fact, they clicked into place the last piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle that other researchers had assembled over decades.
In this talk, drawing on material from his new book ('Truly Superb', Matt Ridley, The Times), Professor Gareth Williams tells the story of that discovery in the round, highlighting some of its lost heroes, from those who first fought to prove that DNA was the stuff of genes, to later researchers like Maurice Wilkins (the ‘Third Man of DNA’) and Rosalind Franklin, famously demonised by Watson.
Discussing and unpacking this story with him will be Sir Mark Walport, FRS, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government (2013–17) and Director of the Wellcome Trust (2003—13).