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January 05, 2004

DNA series on PBS

PBS has a multi-part series titled DNA showing right now. I saw part I, which basically chronicled the race to unlock the secret of the double helix (the "standard model," Watson = selfish creep, Crick = J.D. Salinger of scientists, Franklin = woman wronged, Wilkins = Dupe, etc. etc.). Pretty interesting, though I doubt they'll hit any new science, it's better than re-runs of Friends.

It is curious that Crick's website gives credit to Rosalind Franklin as a co-discover of DNA, while Watson's does not.

Sidenote: GNXP readers might find this article from 3 years back on Watson giving an "insensitive" lecture at Berkeley amusing. The whole lecture was pretty funny as far as I could tell. Here is a quote:


Witnesses were flabbergasted when the 72-year-old discoverer of the double helix suggested there was a biochemical link between exposure to sunlight and sexual urges. ``That's why you have Latin lovers,'' Watson said. ``You've never heard of an English lover. Only an English patient.''

In a lecture hall jammed with more than 200 Berkeley students and faculty members, Watson showed a slide of sad-faced model Kate Moss to support his contention that thin people are unhappy and therefore more ambitious.

``Whenever you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you're not going to hire them,'' Watson said.

Posted by razib at 01:53 PM