Friday, January 21, 2011

Women and Science

So I was watching the TV today (as you do) and a name was given to me.

Rosalind Franklin.

Today I learnt that Rosalind Franklin was a British biophysicist, specialising in X-ray crystallography.

Of course we've all heard the names Watson and Crick.

But I'd never heard of Rosalind Franklin. At the very same time Watson and Crick were building models of the molecular arrangement of DNA, Franklin was taking x-ray photographs of DNA.

Without Franklin's consent, her research partner Maurice Wilkins showed photograph 51 to Watson.

Because Rosalind Franklin died in 1958, she is not eligible for a posthumous Nobel Prize. However, her former partner Wilkins joined Watson and Crick in receiving a Nobel Prize in 1962 for work on nucleic acids.

IMHO, her research contributed to Watson and Crick's work on the double helix, and it's a damned shame her name hasn't been a part of my vocabulary until now.

Rosalind Franklin on Wikipedia

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