Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


Genome Human
Review of Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code, by Matt Ridley
By Peter Dizikes. The New York Times, July 30, 2006

Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code, by Matt RidleyFrancis Crick has never before been the subject of a significant biography. His personality, however, is the subject of one of the best-known lines in science literature. “I have never seen Francis Crick in a modest mood,” James Watson declared in the first sentence of “The Double Helix” (1968), his celebrated account of how he and Crick came to identify the structure of DNA in 1953. Thus the popular image of Watson’s scientific partner: a brash and boastful figure who shared responsibility for a singular breakthrough.

Now, two years after Crick’s death at age 88, the science writer Matt Ridley is attempting to revise the historical record. Ridley’s short biography examines the paired strands of Crick’s life and work, but gives the work a further twist: in his account, the heart of Crick’s career merely began in 1953, and lasted until the mid-1960’s, during which time Crick, having deduced DNA’s form, led the scientific charge to understand how it functions. Ridley claims this effort was “in many ways a greater scientific achievement than the double helix,” and his own effort to explain it should deepen his audience’s understanding of both Crick and DNA itself.

The New York Times


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My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Technology Review, and numerous other publications. You can learn more about me here.

SELECTED ARTICLES BY PETER DIZIKES

E. Coli and You
The New York Times, June 29, 2008

The Meaning of the Butterfly
The Boston Globe, June 8, 2008

Joseph Needham's Grand Question
Seed, May/June 2008

Pure Science
The New York Times, April 13, 2008

Nature Nurtures Learning
The Boston Globe, December 31, 2007

Genes Open New Frontier in Privacy Debate
The Boston Globe, September 24, 2007

Cambridge Scientists Put on a Show
Nature Network Boston, May 1, 2007

Edward O. Wilson Sees Accord on Climate Action
The Boston Globe, January 29, 2007

Genome Human
The New York Times, July 30, 2006

Galileo Groupies
Slate, February 3, 2006

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Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


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