Women in Science: Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin


  • Franklin studied Natural Sciences at Newnham college, Cambridge
  • She was a chemist by profession – she got a research fellowship at Cambridge after graduation, during which she earned a PhD.
  • Franklin worked as an X-ray crystallographer (a technique also used by Dorothy Hodgkin), and contributed towards the discovery of the structure of DNA.
  • The Nobel Prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA was awarded to James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins in 1962.
  • Many people believed Rosalind Franklin should have been honoured by the Nobel prize committee for her role. The award cannot be awarded posthumously, and she died in 1958 before it was awarded.
  • As well as DNA, Franklin studied the structure of RNA, and many viruses, including poliovirus and tobacco mosaic virus.

Photograph 51 – the photo taken by Franklin and Gosling of the crystal structure of DNA



References: https://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/franklin.html

Photographs: Wikimedia commons


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