What the Crick: Caius scrap tribute

Caius have scrapped a tribute to a famous scientist amid fears of student vandalism.


Caius have altered plans to honour a former great because of concerns about student vandalism.

The proposed statue of Francis Crick, one of the men who discovered the structure of DNA, was cancelled because the college felt it would become subject to ‘horseplay’.

In a planning application submitted to Cambridge City Council, the college proposed fountains and statues to stand in their famous Tree Court.

However, “Such installations were considered by the college to be vulnerable to horseplay and vandalism, and would be likely to require considerable maintenance.”

“A conventional statue within Tree Court was also considered and while it was felt that it could be undergraduate-proofed, it was acknowledged that, along with being a very conventional memorial, it was likely to attract additional adornment such as traffic cones which would devalue its purpose of honouring Francis Crick.”

Instead, Caius have settled on a prank-proof paving tribute, which will see intertwined serpents, representing the helical structure of DNA, as well as Crick’s name, and will be visible from outside the college.

The move may not come as a surprise to everyone, as the college has had problems with vandalism over the past year – last year’s freshers damaged Harvey Court in an unauthorised party, leading to the cancellation of a bop and the scaling back of this year’s freshers’ week.

However, Ed Tan, a third year PPS student at the college told the Tab Caius’ top dogs may just have a problem with taking themselves too seriously.

“I’m surprised that the college council even considered putting a fountain in, seeing as they seem to have an agenda against all things fun – like freshers’ week.”

However, the decision to honour Professor Crick has been presented by the college as a must, because Crick “stands to 20th century biology as Charles Darwin stands to 19th century biology.”

Both a famous scientist and seemingly an utter lad, Professor Crick was famously credited with striding into the Eagle pub and announcing to the bemused drinkers he “had found the secret of life”.

He died in 2004, 51 years after the discovery which made him famous.