Don Caspar on CSHL Symposia
  Don Caspar     Biography    
Recorded: 01 Jan 2001

Clearly this is a landmark. I mean the first Cold Spring Harbor meeting that I participated in was in 1962 and that was certainly a landmark in the history of virology. And then there was the 1971 meeting here on protein structure, which sort of represented really the coming of age of protein crystallography. And this meeting on the ribosome that it’s, it’s clearly going to stand as a landmark, now being able to see—sort of make sense of so much information that’s accumulated on the biochemistry or the molecular biology. And clearly it’s been true of a lot of the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia that it managed to focus on, sort of, the crucial developments in the critical time in the science.

… I think with science that many people feel that the only things that’s important sort of what is happening right now. I know, you know, when Jim went to Cambridge in, it was ’52 that he remarked he thought Bragg was a living fossil. Bragg himself said about science that it’s like corral, alive only on the surface. I think that that’s a completely inverted view of really what science is about.

Donald Caspar, structural biologist and crystallographer, is a professor emeritus of Biological Sciences at the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida and is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Born on January 8, 1927, he received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University in 1950, and his his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Yale University in 1955. Caspar is interested in protein adaptability, virus assembly, protein plasticity and x-ray diffraction. He currently researches the mechanics of protein movements by executing structural studies.

He has attended many symposia at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, starting in 1961, and worked with Watson at Caltech and Harvard. He is a member of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Casper is a long-time friend and colleague of Dr. James D. Watson as well as many of the early pioneers in molecular biology, including Dr. Rosalind Franklin.