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60 Anniversary of Crick's 'central dogma' lecture

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60 Anniversary of Crick's 'central dogma' lecture
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SparhafocPosts: 1529Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post 60 Anniversary of Crick's 'central dogma' lecture


Crick's lecture, which was published the following year, continues to be read and cited by scientists all over the world. It is a monument of clear and penetrating thinking by one of the 20th century's greatest minds. In all his key predictions, Francis Crick was right, and he did indeed change the logic of biology.

http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/ar ... io.2003243

It took some time for Crick’s lecture to exert its influence. Despite Jacob’s vivid description of how Crick presented his ideas, there is no indication that the content immediately changed the thinking of those in the audience. Only one of the other presentations at the symposium made any reference to Crick’s novel ideas in the revised printed version, and even here, the authors appear to have thought that Crick was indeed being dogmatic in his views because he speculated rather than strictly limiting himself to the experimental evidence [30].

Since then, the renown of the lecture has grown, and it has been cited over 800 times. The pattern of citations is U-shaped, with an early peak of 28 in 1962, followed by a trough of a handful of citations per year between 1971 and 1990, rising to 52 citations in 2014. Crick was later quite harsh on his lecture, describing it as ‘a mixture of good and bad ideas, of insight and nonsense’ [9]. This seems unfair—any nonsense is primarily due to lack of experimental evidence at the time. The reason why people still return to a 60-year-old lecture is because of the power of its ideas and the clarity with which they are presented. Crick’s style and intellectual verve continue to be both influential and inspirational; everyone should read or reread this brilliant lecture by one of the 20th century’s greatest scientists, a lecture that changed how we think.
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:33 pm
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