18 April 2006
Francis Crick as Neuroscientist
Robert Olby, University
of Pittsburgh, HPS Dept.
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral
Like molecular biology, neuroscience is a multi-disciplinary
enterprise. In institutional terms it dates back to the Neurosciences
Research Program of the early sixties. In 1976 the sixty year old Crick decided
to devote his latter years to neuroscience. Between 1979 and 2004
he published forty papers, abstracts and short communications, many
co-authored with colleagues in neuroscience, and one popular book,
The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994).
What did all this activity amount to? What of substance did
he contribute? Was
he accepted by the neuroscience community? Why should we consider his influence on
the field rather than say Edelman’s or Roger Penrose’s? Was he valued only as a good PR figure
for neuroscience, or for other qualities and achievements? Can his career in neuroscience throw some
light on the evolution of the neurosciences in the last century?