Great quotes by great scientists – Francis Crick


This is a really good one, from the codiscoverer of the structure of DNA, Dr. Francis Crick. He was a true “scientists’ scientist”. I surely do not have to tell you about his multiple scientific achievements. However, what I like about him the most is his ideation of the “gossip test”. As I described in my book The First Brain: The Neuroscience of Planarians:

“One thing you must understand is that for most of us scientists, one of the highest things we can aspire to is for others to hear (or read) about our ideas and discoveries. An aspect of this is illustrated by the concept of the “gossip test,” as described by one of science’s greats, Dr. Francis Crick of DNA fame… His reasoning was that one usually gossips (in the scientific sense) about things that one is truly passionate about; that passion fuels your determination and commitment and therefore increases your chances of success. A side effect (although not necessarily a bad one) of this passion is that you tend to go into the hallway at work and tell what you have just discovered in the lab quite literally to whomever you run into; this is usually preceded by a “Guess what I found?” This, of course, usually works best when talking to people who know you as opposed to random strangers in the hallway; otherwise, you may be perceived as odd, which again, does not necessarily have to be a bad thing.

To be madly in love with science does not make you a mad scientist.”




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