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Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

A Founder of Protein Crystallography

 

Scientific biographers do not, in general, find much correlation between good character and great science. There are a few exceptions. Historians have unanimously agreed, for example, that Charles Darwin was a particularly admirable, even lovable, figure: a collegial scientist, devoted father, faithful supporter of young colleagues, sincere, honest, and without personal enemies.

The Darwin of our age is certainly Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin. In the words of colleague Max Perutz (Nobelist for his solution of the hemoglobin molecule), she was "a great chemist, a saintly, gentle and tolerant lover of people, and a devoted protagonist of peace." In a short space it is impossible to discuss both the significance of her science and the scope of her tireless activity for world peace.

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