Aaron Klug

Sir Aaron Klug, OM, PRS (born 11 August 1926) is a Lithuanian-born British chemist and biophysicist, and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes. His scientific biography is currently being written by former colleague Kenneth Holmes. Read more...

Aaron Klug quotes

One cannot plan for the unexpected.

This field is not necessarily glamorous, nor does it often produce immediate results, but it seeks to increase our basic understanding of living processes.

However, I should perhaps add that during the 20 years I have been back in Cambridge, I have been actively involved in the teaching of undergraduates, as well as of course supervising research students.

Cambridge was the place for someone from the Colonies or the Dominions to go on to, and it was to the Cavendish Laboratory that one went to do physics.

I like teaching and the contact with young minds keeps one on one's toes.

Human curiosity, the urge to know, is a powerful force and is perhaps the best secret weapon of all in the struggle to unravel the workings of the natural world.

The work requires a moderately large investment in technological and theoretical developments and long periods of time to carry them out, without the pressure to achieve quick or short term results.

This work made me more and more interested in biological matter, and I decided that I really wanted to work on the X-ray analysis of biological molecules.

In the course of my stay there, I also showed how one could analyse the experimental kinetic curves for the reaction of haemoglobin with carbon dioxide or oxygen by simulations in the computer, and so fit the rate constants.

The philosophy of the school was quite simple - the bright boys specialised in Latin, the not so bright in science and the rest managed with geography or the like.