Francis Crick and Jim Watson in the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 1953.

Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society offers an intimate look at our late Fellows, celebrating their lives and achievements.

This year’s volume of Biographical Memoirs is now available, Fellows included have contributed to fields as diverse as astronomy, biochemistry and physiology, chemistry, environmental science, genetics and molecular biology, inferential science, materials science, mathematics, oceanography, physics, and scientific biography and public engagement.

As the Editor Malcolm Longair notes in his Editorial, the Fellows’

‘struggles against adversity are moving and inspiring while in others the sheer ability to achieve so much in a lifetime is staggering’.

Fellows in this collection have succeeded in feats such as escaping Nazi Germany and rebuilding a life for themselves after having fought in World War II. Their contributions span from artificial intelligence, to the physics of extragalactic radio sources, to the way our muscles work, to the history of science.
Notably, this collection includes Francis Crick’s memoir: father of molecular biology and one of the people who discovered the DNA double-helix, he also led an exciting life with his wife Odile, who drew one of the first illustrations of the now iconic DNA structure. His story is vividly recounted through the affectionate memories of his family and friends.

We take pride in honouring the memory of our Fellows, hoping their stories will inspire our readers to expand the boundaries of what is possible.

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