Main content

Sydney Brenner: A Revolutionary Biologist

Sydney Brenner is a giant figure in modern biology. He talks to Matthew Cobb about the DNA revolution in which he played a key role between the 1950s and 1980s.

Sydney Brenner was one of the 20th Century’s greatest biologists. Born 90 years ago in South Africa to impoverished immigrant parents, Dr Brenner became a leading figure in the biological revolution that followed the discovery of the structure of DNA by Crick and Watson, using data from Rosalind Franklin, in the 1950s. Brenner’s insights and inventive experiments laid foundation stones for new science of molecular biology and the genetic age in which we live today, from the Human Genome Project to gene editing.

Sydney Brenner talks to biologist and historian Matthew Cobb of the University of Manchester about this thrilling period in biological science, and Dr Brenner’s 20 year-long collaboration with DNA pioneer Francis Crick: a friendship which generated some of their most creative research.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Picture: Sydney Brenner, Credit: Cold Spring Harbor Lab Archive

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Oct 2017 01:32GMT




The eclipses, spacecraft and astronauts changing our view of the Universe

The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

A pair of scientific sleuths answer your perplexing questions. Ask them anything!