Francis Crick Quotes
62 Sourced Quotes
One can say, looking at the papers in this symposium, that the elucidation of the genetic code is indeed a great achievement. It is, in a sense, the key to molecular biology because it shows how the great polymer languages, the nucleic acid language and the protein language, are linked together.
If for example I had some idea, which as it turned out would be quite wrong, was going off of the tangent, Watson would tell me in no uncertain terms this was nonsense, and vice-versa. If he would have some idea I didn't like, and I would say so, this would shake his thinking about, and draw him back again. And in fact it is one of the requirements for collaborations of this sort, is you must be perfectly candid, one might almost say rude, to the person you're working with. It's useless working with somebody who is either much too junior than yourself or much too senior because then politeness creeps in. And this is the end of all real collaboration in science (giggles).
My own prejudices are exactly the opposite of the functionalists': If you want to understand function, study structure, I was supposed to have said in my molecular biology days. (I believe I was sailing at the time.) I think that one should approach these problems at all levels, as was done in molecular biology. Classical genetics is, after all, a black-box subject. The important thing was to combine it with biochemistry. In nature hybrid species are usually sterile, but in science the reverse is often true. Hybrid subjects are often astonishingly fertile, whereas if a scientific discipline remains too pure it usually wilts.