Maurice Wilkins

Topics: Francis Crick, DNA, Rosalind Franklin Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: March 22, 2014

Biophysicist Maurice Wilkins was born on December 15, 1916, in Pongaroa, New Zealand. He worked with the Manhattan Project before turning to biophysics. He produced the first image of DNA fibers. Also a conflict did occur between him and his colleague Rosalind Franklin, helped do the Watson and Crick double-helix model shared in 1953. Wilkins got the Nobel Prize for his work. He died on October 6, 2004.

Early life Maurice Wilkins was born by two Irish parents. When he was born his father, Edgar Wilkins, was a medical doctor working for the School Medical Service and his mother, Eveline Whittack, was a school teacher. They started off in an isolated part of New Zealand. The family then moved to Wellington where Wilkins spent the early part of his childhood, and later on in his life described them as some of the happiest periods in his lifetime. When Wilkins was 6 years old the family moved to Birmingham, England. They moved there so that his father could further his studies into preventive medicine. Much of the work his father did helped advance treatments for children living in the poor areas of the city. Once in Birmingham, Wilkins turned his hand to building his own telescopes and microscopes to help go towards his interest in astronomy and optics. In the early 1940’s Wilkins married Ruth, an art student he met during his time in Berkley, California. He divorced her shortly after the birth of their son. In 1959 Wilkins married Patricia Ann Chidgey, a teacher, and with he had four children.

His Education Wilkins' early school years were spent at Wylde Green College and then King Edward's School. In 1935 Wilkins went to St John's College, Cambridge to study physics, which he pursued while taking a part in the universities politics programs. While at Cambridge Wilkins was tutored by Mark Oliphant. He was very impressed by Wilkin's ability and interest in thermoluminescence and phosphorecence, arranged for him to study as a doctoral student under John...
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