Francis Crick

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Francis Crick : biography

8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004

In 1960, Crick accepted an honorary fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge, one factor being that the new college did not have a chapel. Sometime later, a large donation was made to establish a chapel and the fellowship elected to accept it. Crick resigned his fellowship in protest.See also e.g.

In October 1969, Crick participated in a celebration of the 100th year of the journal Nature. Crick attempted to make some predictions about what the next 30 years would hold for molecular biology. His speculations were later published in Nature. Near the end of the article, Crick briefly mentioned the search for life on other planets, but he held little hope that extraterrestrial life would be found by the year 2000. He also discussed what he described as a possible new direction for research, what he called "biochemical theology". Crick wrote, "So many people pray that one finds it hard to believe that they do not get some satisfaction from it".

Crick suggested that it might be possible to find chemical changes in the brain that were molecular correlates of the act of prayer. He speculated that there might be a detectable change in the level of some neurotransmitter or neurohormone when people pray. Crick may have been imagining substances such as dopamine that are released by the brain under certain conditions and produce rewarding sensations. Crick’s suggestion that there might someday be a new science of "biochemical theology" seems to have been realized under an alternative name: there is now the new field of neurotheology. Crick’s view of the relationship between science and religion continued to play a role in his work as he made the transition from molecular biology research into theoretical neuroscience.

He asked in 1998, "And if some of the Bible is manifestly wrong, why should any of the rest of it be accepted automatically? … And what would be more important than to find our true place in the universe by removing one by one these unfortunate vestiges of earlier beliefs?"

In 2003 he was one of 21 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.

Recognition

In addition to his third share of the 1962 Nobel prize for Physiology or Medicine, he received many awards and honours, including the Royal and Copley medals of the Royal Society (1972 and 1975), and also the Order of Merit (on 27 November 1991); he refused an offer of a CBE in 1963 and later refused an offer of a knighthood, but was often referred to in error as ‘Sir Francis Crick’ and even on occasions as ‘Lord Crick.’

The award of Nobel prizes to John Kendrew and Max Perutz, and to Crick, Watson, and Wilkins was satirised in a short sketch in the BBC TV programme That Was The Week That Was with the Nobel Prizes being referred to as ‘The Alfred Nobel Peace Pools.’

Francis Crick Prize Lectures

The Francis Crick Lecture was established in 2003 following an endowment by his former colleague, Sydney Brenner, joint winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.: The Royal Society website. Retrieved 12 July 2006. The lecture is delivered annually in any field of biological sciences, with preference given to the areas in which Francis Crick himself worked. Importantly, the lectureship is aimed at younger scientists, ideally under 40, or whose career progression corresponds to this age.

Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute is a planned £660,000,000 biomedical research centre to be located in London, United Kingdom. The Francis Crick Institute is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Imperial College London, King’s College London, the Medical Research Council, University College London (UCL) and the Wellcome Trust. Once completed in 2015, it will be the biggest centre for biomedical research and innovation in Europe.

Francis Crick Graduate Lectures

The University of Cambridge Graduate School of Biological, Medical and Veterinary Sciences hosts The Francis Crick Graduate Lectures. The first two lectures were by John Gurdon and Tim Hunt. by Professor Sir John Gurdon, Francis Crick Graduate Lectures, 29 November 2005. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 12 July 2006. by Dr Tim Hunt, Francis Crick Graduate Lectures, 29 June 2005. University of Cambridge. Retrieved 12 July 2006.