Ann Burgess on Meeting Francis Crick at Harvard University
  Ann Burgess     Biography    
Recorded: 29 Apr 2005

[laughs] Okay, okay. Well, the first thing I remember is I was a brand new graduate student. I was very starry-eyed about being at Harvard and interacting with people like Jim Watson. I had only been there a month or something and Watson walked up to me and said, “My friend, Francis is coming and we’re going to this party, would you like to go with us,” or something like that. I can’t remember quite how it was organized. But a bunch of people went out to dinner and then a bunch of people went to Alex Rich’s house at MIT for a party. I called up my parents and I said, “I’m going to a party with Watson and Crick!” And my mother said, “Who is Watson and Crick?”

Anyway, it was very exciting. I can’t remember interacting with Crick very much at that time, except that when we were sitting over dinner—here is a brand new graduate student, so excited about doing it [molecular biology]. Crick saying, “Molecular biology is done for. We’re going to have it all figured out in another couple of years. You should go into something else like neuroscience.” I mean this was in ’64—a lot happened in molecular biology.

Ann Burgess is the Director Emeritus of the Biology Core Curriculum. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from UW-Madison and her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University. She was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 2002.

Biology Core Curriculum is four semester intercollege honors program that provides a broad and integrated background for students interested in any field of biological science. She is interested in undergraduate science education with a particular accent on laboratory and filed experiences that absorb students in process of science.

Ann Burgess is running in several UW-Madison and national efforts to advance science education, including the BioQUEST Consortium and the National Institute of Science Education's College Level One team.