Recorded: 03 Mar 2003
Francis was known to us all. I think Francis’ reputation spread out from Cambridge like ripples in a still pool when you throw the stone in the middle. [That’s] a classic, classic example. Because even to the extent that we in London in the same field, if we knew there was a seminar, and Crick was going to be there and so were other people with whom he disagreed, we’d make the pilgrimage to Cambridge just to hear. Because he had that incredible ability to think and turn on a sixpence intellectually. And just to listen to him pick a fight with somebody else so nicely, so delicately, but rapier-like and straight to the heart. He really was bubbling full of nervous energy. But of course a dilettante. There he was as I think in that Life Story, he is reputed to have said to Jim. “Here I am at 35 and I still haven’t finished my Ph.D." Because he was like a humming bird going from flower to flower. And Jim really turned him on. So they made a wonderful complementary pair. So it’s not surprising that they solved the structure.
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.