Ann Burgess on Dinner with Francis Crick
  Ann Burgess     Biography    
Recorded: 29 Apr 2005

Then another time, this was years later, I lived in an apartment with—there were three other women graduate students, one of whom was Joan Steitz. Jim said to us—Joan was his graduate student and I was around the lab because I was nearby. He said, “Francis is coming to Cambridge. He hates faculty/wife dinners. He’d love to have dinner with a bunch of graduate students. You should invite him to dinner” [laughs].

So we consulted, the four of us, and decided—we sent him an invitation on purple stationery saying that we heard from your friend, Jim, that you don’t like faculty/wife dinners so if you’d like to come and have dinner with some graduate students, how about such and such a time. Oh, somehow we had arranged that he was going to call us. I’m not quite—I don’t remember the details, but the phone rang when we knew it was him and they made me answer it. But what he says, “I’d love to come and have dinner.” So he did. He was totally charming. I mean, he was telling us stories about everything. It was—[laughs], it was fun. Jim wasn’t there. It was just Francis Crick and the girls in the apartment who were graduate students.

Many years later when he came to give a seminar in Madison I went up afterwards and shook his hand, but I don’t think he remembered me.

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.