Three Letters: D.N.A and Creativity

Happy Birthday, DNA Structure!

Today, in 1953, James D. Watson and Francis Crick had a little article called Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid published in the scientific journal Nature.

And the controversy hasn’t stopped since.

Of course, they didn’t pluck this idea from the ether. They built on the work of other people, as do most researchers, and they acknowledged as much in their paper.

Neil Gaiman, talking recently about writing-and-why-he-probably-wouldn’t-have-
taken-that-fan-to-court-the-way-JKRowling-did, said he subscribed to Terry Pratchett’s theory that writing is a stew, you take a little out, you put a little in.

Some of my favourite musical moments come when the composer or musician makes a little joke or pays tribute, by including a theme from something else in the tune they’re playing.

Creativity is a collective enterprise, even if we do most of our work alone. Acknowledging that makes it a lot easier to actually dare to create.


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