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SCIENCE IS WE - MBL SUMMER 1954


HaeckelOn April 26, 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick published their seminal paper on the structure of DNA in the journal Nature. Earlier that year, Rosalind Franklin produced the definitive crystallographic image of the B form of DNA, which demonstrated the helical shape of the molecule. In the summer of 1954, all three scientists were at the MBL, Watson as an instructor in the Physiology course, Crick and Franklin as visitors. What brought these scientists to Woods Hole? What was that summer like?

This exhibition presents a photographic record of the people and events at the MBL during the summer of 1954. There is the usual assortment of international scientists at work in the lab, conversing on the campus or lazing on the beach. There is the formal course work and the informal parties shared by Nobel Prize winners and aspiring students alike. There are the sailing races, Hurricane Carol and the construction of an off-site "molecule" -one of Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes.

These images evoke a sense of the period as well as of the community of science. They also demonstrate the informal and free exchange of information that has characterized summers at the MBL since its inception. The digitized photographs validate Claude Bernard's dictum that "Science is we." The exhibition also shows the solidarity of the Woods Hole community. Many people have answered the call to share photographs, anecdotes and recollections of that summer, demonstrating in the process that Woods Hole is also "we." They are hereby graciously thanked: Ruth Hubbard for the Wald Family Archives; the late Tay Hayashi; Suzanne and Eugenie Kuffler for the Kuffler Family Archives; Barbara Little; Joyce and Laszlo Lorand; Mary Lou and Paul Ferris Smith; Andrew Szent-Györgyi; Jennifer Gaines and Susan Witzell of the Woods Hole Historical Collection; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives, the National Library of Medicine Archives, The University of California Archives and, as ever, Jean Monahan.

Curated by Ann Weissmann, Exhibitions Curator MBLWHOI Library




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