Odile Crick
By: Deb Chachra | Categories: HiLo Heroes

Odile and Francis Crick

Those of us with an interest in scientific history know of Rosalind Franklin, the Dark Lady of DNA, who did the x-ray diffractometry experiments that provided the data for Watson and Crick to deduce its three-dimensional structure. But yet another woman is hidden behind that iconic double-helix; Francis Crick asked his wife, artist ODILE CRICK (1920-2007), to make a drawing of the model for their 1953 Nature paper. Odile Crick, who met her future husband while working as a code-breaker during World War II, didn’t immediately see the significance of the drawing; one of the perils of living with a scientist is that they’re always coming home excited about what they’re doing. While much of the rest of Crick’s body of work is equally curvaceous (she is best known for her female nudes), it’s her sketch of of the DNA helix that’s secured her place in both artistic and scientific history.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Steve Wozniak and Hulk Hogan.

READ MORE about members of the New Gods generation (1914-23).

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Deb Chachra is an engineering professor who does research on biological materials and on education, and is interested in practically everything else besides. She's @debcha on Twitter.