Maurice Wilkins By: Jarely González Mr.Pintoperiod 4 1/11/18 Maurice Hugh Frederick Wilkins was born on December 15, 1916, in Pongaroa, New Zealand(Biography.com).
Maurice Wilkins was of an Irish descent, but when as a child he and his family moved to England. He attended King Edward IV school before he enrolled at the University of Cambridge, and St. John College(Behind The Scenes of DNA). Maurice in 1938, earned a degree in physics and earned his Ph.D.
in 1940. He produced the first image of DNA fibers when he was attending King’s College. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work(doi.org). He died on October 5, 2004(Biography.
com). During World War II, Wilkins worked in the defense ministry to improve radar screens. Later on, Wilkins came to America because he was selected to work. Wilkins did not like the idea of making something of destruction than helping. He then turned his attention to biophysics-based analysis(Behind the Scenes of DNA).
Continuing to work at the University of St. Andrews; he met a researcher named John Randall(Biography.com).
Randall and Wilkins both worked together to study some x-ray patterns. Both researchers transferred from St.Andrews to King’s College. Wilkins began studying nucleic acids and proteins using the X-ray imaging. He ended up being very successful in the area of DNA and gathered information about the nucleic acid structure. When Rosalind Franklin, an expert in X-ray crystallography, joined the unit that is when things got rough(Biography.com). Wilkins was looking forward to being in charge of the X-ray studies of DNA.
He was astounded when he heard that Franklin was placed in charge instead of Wilkins(Nobel Prize.org). He was believed that Franklin was going to be the assistant and not himself. This situation produced tautness among the two. There was a lost opportunity that could’ve made both Wilkins and Franklin the first to discover DNA’s structure(Behind the Scenes of DNA).
Although their partnership did not last, most of their research was used by other specialists.Wilkins research was published as supporting data to the Watson-Crick design. “He continued studying the nucleic acid structure and utilized his status as Nobel Laureate; he spoke concerning ethics in science”(nature.com). “He was also politically active, taking up the causes of famine and nuclear disarmament”,(Biography.com).Although he added to the discoveries of DNA structures he was not a very well-known scientist.
Maurice Wilkins produced the X-ray diffraction images with other scientists helping as well. He and his colleagues made very valuable discoveries that benefited other prominent scientists. If it weren’t for Wilkin’s work other scientists would not be able to pinpoint the DNA structure.
He made many contributions to the world of science; although many local people don’t know about him in the science world he was very important. Maurice Wilkins died at the age 88 on October 5, 2004.