This is how Francis Crick dealt with unwanted solicitations following the discovery of DNA

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When James Watson and Francis Crick unveiled the double-helical structure of DNA, the pair became international celebrities. But with celebrity, can come a lot of unwanted personal attention.

One of the ways Crick dealt with the barrage of letters, personal requests and solicitations that he received throughout the 1960s was the pre-printed, catch-all reply card featured up top.


According to The Francis Crick Archive at the Wellcome Library, the seventeen reply options you see listed here "are a faithful reflection of the requests [Crick] regularly received," though there was also space to add more if he felt like it. Apparently, unsolicited solutions to "the coding problem" (the question of how just four nucleotides could code for a polypeptide containing up to twenty different amino acids) were pretty common... just not common enough to earn them a spot on the reply card. [For the Record: The Francis Crick Archive at the Wellcome Library via Futility Closet]