Recorded: 30 May 2003
Both he and Francis were always against religion. I think one of the main motives that drove them to find the double helix was that they wanted to show that you don’t need God to explain any part of this. It’s a physical, chemical system and here it is. Can a scientist be religious? Yes, once in a while. I’m thinking about the survey show that they’re religious in about the same proportion as the rest of the country. So although one might think that these two explanatory frameworks for the world were totally incompatible, the human mind was nonetheless capable of keeping two incompatible explanations in its head at the same time.
Nicholas Wade received a B.A. in natural sciences from King's College in Cambridge (1964). He was deputy editor of (italics) Nature magazine in London and then became that journal's Washington correspondent. He joined (italics) Science magazine in Washington as a reporter and later moved to (italics)The New York Times, where he has been an editorial writer, concentrating his writing on issues of defense, space, science, medicine, technology, genetics, molecular biology, the environment, and public policy, a science reporter, and science editor. He is the author or coauthor of several books including (italics) LIFE SCRIPT: How The Human Genome Discoveries Will Transform Medicine And Enhance Your Health (2002).
Covering the Human Genome Project for the (italics) New York Times since 1990, Wade has interviewed Watson on various occasions and visited Cold Spring Harbor for the annual Genome symposium.