8th June 2016. We were delighted and honoured to receive a visit from the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr James Watson to mark the centenary of the birth of Francis Crick (Ridgeway 1930-34). Together, James Watson and Francis Crick cracked the code to “the secret of life” when they put forward the double helical structure of DNA in 1953. The breakthrough is hailed as one of the most important scientific discoveries in history.
Dr Watson was joined by the Chairman of Governors, Dr Roger Chapman, the Head, Mrs Frances King, staff and pupils on the quad to unveil a plaque to commemorate this special day for Mill Hill. Fittingly, the unveiling took place in front of the Science Building where Crick studied as a pupil and which is to be renamed in his honour during this centenary year.
Pupils due in science lessons were instead treated to the story of the race for the double helix as Dr Watson delivered his fascinating account of the breakthrough and his work with Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin and other eminent scientists of the time. This was a unique opportunity for our pupils to hear first-hand from one of the greatest scientists of our age.
Our Crick celebrations continue on Saturday Night as Dr Watson joins us as guest of honour at the Crick 100 Reception and Dinner. The Dinner sold out in three days but it is still possible to book a place at the reception where Dr Watson will be talking about his time with Crick (click here). The Dinner and reception, promoted by the Development Office, will also highlight the modernisation of Crick’s Science Building which has been made possible in part thanks to generous donations from parents, alumni and friends of the School.
Hopefully, Dr Watson’s visit will inspire our next generation of Nobel Prize-winning Millhillians!