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Aaron Klug, June 2005

 Item — Box: AV02, miniDV: CSHL1091
Oral History | Aaron Klug
Oral History | Aaron Klug

Scope and Contents

Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize winning chemist and biophysicist, is interviewed by Mila Pollock on June 17, 2005, at the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Medical Research Council, in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Aaron Klug discusses the following in his interview: Scene 1. Becoming a scientist -- Scene 2. What it takes to be a scientist -- Scene 3. Zinc finger proteins: discovery and application -- Scene 4. Founding of the Sanger Centre and early involvement in genomics -- Scene 5. Gene patenting -- Scene 6. The application and ethics of genomics -- Scene 7. Advice to young scientists -- Scene 8. On being a good mentor -- Scene 9. Rosalind Franklin -- Scene 10. Francis Crick -- Scene 11. Jim Watson: writer -- Scene 12. Development of crystallographic electron microscopy and elucidating viral structures -- Scene 13. Taking risks in science.


  • Creation: June 2005


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Aaron Klug (August 11, 1926-November 20, 2018) was a chemist and biophysicist and winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. After completing his BSc at University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, he attended the University of Cape Town on scholarship where he received M.Sc. degree. In 1949 he moved to Cambridge in England, he studied molecular structure of steel and wrote a thesis on the changes that occur when molten steel solidifies, for which he earned Ph.D. in 1952.

In 1953 he obtained a fellowship to work at Birkbeck Collage in London, where he met Rosalind Franklin. They worked together to determine the structural nature of the tobacco mosaic virus. After Franklin's death in 1958 he continued his work on viruses together with Kenneth Holmes and John Finch. In 1962 he accepted a position at Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

His major contribution to scientific research was the development of crystallography electron microscopy for which he was awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.

More Information: Wikipedia,


1 Cassettes (Camcorder footage) : MiniDV - CSHL1091

1 Optical Disks (Talking science with Aaron Klug) : DVD ; 46 min

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English