The hidden history of DNA – with Gareth Williams

From The Royal Institution.

Who were the unsung heroes behind the discovery of DNA? From its discovery in pus-soaked bandages in 1868, to the aftermath of Watson’s best-seller The Double Helix a century later.

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This video was recorded at the Ri on 25 July 2019.

From 2003-8, Gareth Williams was Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol, where he still teaches on the Medical Humanities and Medical courses. He now writes books for the general reader about the history of medicine and science. The first, the product of a sabbatical year in 2009, was Angel of Death: the story of smallpox (shortlisted for the Wellcome Medical Book Prize 2010). This was followed by Paralysed with Fear: the story of polio (2013) and A Monstrous Commotion: the mysteries of Loch Ness (2015). His book Unravelling the Double Helix: the lost heroes of DNA, was published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in April 2019, and by Pegasus (USA) in autumn 2019. Gareth has served as President of the Anglo-French Medical Society, Vice-President of the European Society for Clinical Investigation, and Chair of the Trustees of the Edward Jenner Museum. He is proud to be an Ambassador of the British Polio Fellowship, which supports those living with the legacy of this cruel disease. His main outside interests are music and natural history. He is a keen flautist and saxophonist, playing in orchestras, a wind quintet and various jazz groups.

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