Raymond Gosling on Jim Watson: First Encounters
  Raymond Gosling     Biography    
Recorded: 03 Mar 2003

Oh, that goes back a long way because I think it was when he came to the lab to see Maurice [Wilkins] after the meeting in Naples when Maurice showed the diffraction pattern which he and I had obtained, with were lots and lots of spots on it, which was quite different from that that existed up to that time in the literature. We were very excited about it and, of course, Jim was knowledgeable in all these things and he, I gather, nearly fell off his seat when he saw the slide because, like all of us, he realized that with all those spots you had a good chance for getting a handle on the structure.

Oh, young, yes. I mean Jim is a year, nearly two years younger than I am. But being the precocious lad that he is he had already got a Ph.D. There was I struggling away trying to get one and also he had what I thought at the time, probably quite wrongly, was a Georgian accent. You know, where it’s molasses plus. And I found it difficult to understand what he was saying because he—I think, I don’t know whether he was perhaps just caught up with what he was thinking because I seem to remember that I found it difficult to understand him and he never finished a sentence.

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.