Thursday, August 8, 2013

Rapping about DNA

NPR Radio reports on rapping in the classroom:
ADAM COLE, BYLINE: Watson and Crick - they're the guys who first figured out that famous spiral structure of DNA. Before they came on the scene, no one knew what that important molecule looked like. ...


GIBSON: (Rapping) (as Rosalind Franklin) It has not escaped notice that you're a jerk. Shoulda got a Nobel for my work.
Funny, but the famous structure is a helix, not a spiral.

The most famous sentence from Watson and Crick started "It has not escaped our notice ...". Yes, Franklin's unpublished (and for many years uncredited) work did not escape their notice. And yes, they were jerks not to tell how they used her work, and not to give public credit.


  1. Hunh. Never thought of this before, but I'm wondering about something. One of my friends who's a bona fide scientist once wrote to me and maybe I was reading between the lines, but I got the impression he is of the opinion that *true* scientists are never concerned with attribution -- the "whodunnit". I.e., to the extent they are scientists they care only about the science itself. "Attribution is for squabblers", something like that.

    I'm not sure how much I agree with it -- scientists need to eat and pay rent too. But I'm wondering if any scientists of the first rank have ever sued for copyright violations based on derivative works which subsequently announced results that were there in the underlying lab notebooks. And if so, whether they sued successfully. Guess I'll go do some googling. Or Binging. Or eating.

  2. I never heard of a scientist suing over copyright to prove originality. There have been patent lawsuits among scientists, such as in the dispute over who invented the laser.

    Einstein was very concerned about credit, and always demanded whatever credit he could. Others do not necessarily care so much.