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Dear Dr. Duax:

[DNA plaque] The DNA team at King's College, London (Courtesy H. R. Wilson).

In your recent Editorial (IUCr Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 4) you refer to celebrations being held to mark the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA and to the tendency to eclipse the role that crystallography played in the original discovery. One such celebration was held at King's College, London, where Wilkins and Franklin carried out the X-ray diffraction studies of DNA. When Watson and Crick's paper announcing their discovery of the double-helix was published in Nature in 1953, it was accompanied by two papers from King's giving experimental support for the model, one by Wilkins, Stokes, and Wilson and the other by Franklin and Gosling. At the celebration meeting at King's a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 1953 X-ray diffraction studies, including the names of the five authors of the King's papers. Hence, perhaps the apparent eclipse of the role that crystallography played in the original discovery was partial rather than total!

H. R. Wilson
Stirling, Scotland