Crick, Francis Harry Compton

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Crick, Francis Harry Compton

Crick, Francis Harry Compton, 1916–2004, English scientist, grad. University College, London, and Caius College, Cambridge. Crick was trained as a physicist, and from 1940 to 1947 he served as a scientist in the admiralty, where he designed circuitry for naval mines. At Cambridge after 1947, he trained and did research in biology. He was a visiting lecturer at several institutions in the United States including Brooklyn Polytechnic (1953–54), Harvard (1959), Univ. of Rochester (1959), and Johns Hopkins school of medicine (1960). Crick shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Maurice Wilkins and James Watson for their work in establishing the structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the key substance in the transmission of hereditary characteristics from generation to generation. After 1976 he worked at the Salk Institute, San Diego, where he served as president from 1994 to 1995. His subsequent research focused on protein synthesis, the genetic code and its conversion into amino acids, embryonic development, the neurobiological basis of consciousness, and other biological issues.


See his Of Molecules and Men (1967), Life Itself (1981), and What Mad Pursuit (1988); biography by M. Ridley (2006); J. D. Watson, The Double Helix (1968), and H. F. Judson, The Eighth Day of Creation (expanded ed. 1996).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crick, Francis Harry Compton


Born June 8, 1916, in Northampton. English physicist and specialist in molecular biology. Member of the Royal Society of London (1959); honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1962).

Crick has worked at Cambridge University since graduating from University College in London in 1937 (with an interruption from 1939–1947). Together with J. Watson, he determined the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and explained how its molecules are copied in cell division, thereby laying the foundation for molecular genetics. The discovery was one of the most important scientific events of the 20th century. Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962 (jointly with J. Watson and M. Wilkins) for discovering the molecular structure of nucleic acids and their importance for the hereditary transmission of the traits and properties of the organism.


Of Molecules and Men. London, 1966.
In Russian translation:” K voprosu o geneticheskom kode.” In I. Gershkovich, Genetika. Moscow, 1968.


Watson, J. D. Dvoinaia spiral’. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.