Raymond Gosling on The DNA Race
  Raymond Gosling     Biography    
Recorded: 03 Mar 2003

Well, we were already writing a paper. Funnily enough, Rosalind decided that structure “B” was so obviously helical. And although her view was that she didn’t want to build models because if you build models you’d have a hell of a job to prove that one was uniquely the solution. And Maurice, however, wanted to build models and Maurice was the only one in the lab who was convinced there was a race against the big, bad man in your country here [Linus Pauling].

But she was reluctant and wanted to let the data speak for itself. But she had started—we had started to write the thing on structure “B” which was clearly helical. And Alex Stokes had given us all the mathematics, the Bessel functions and how to work it out. And we were starting to do that when we got the call, go up and see the model. And also got instructed, we were instructed by J.T. Randall, we had the opportunity to put in a paper with Watson and Crick. And that, of course, was quite interesting. But that was by royal command, so to speak. We didn’t sit—we had started to write the paper, but we were told that we had to. We had about a week to write it in. That was a hell of a race. But I think Jim will tell you that they wrote their paper pretty quickly.

Raymond Gosling arrived at King’s lab in 1949 to work as a research student. Under the direction of Rosalind Franklin, he helped to perfect the technique of x-ray diffraction photography to obtain the A and B form images of DNA. Gosling met Watson when he arrived in Wilkins’s lab to review DNA diffraction images.

After completing his Ph.D., Gosling left King’s to teach physics at Queens’ College in Cambridge, at the University of St. Andrews, and at the University of the West Indies. He returned to the UK in 1967 to become professor and eventually emeritus professor in Physics Applied to Medicine at the Guy’s Hospital Medical School.

Raymond Gosling has dedicated much of his time researching the elasticity of the arterial system in order to develop tests to monitor one’s risk of stroke and heart attack.