ROSALIND FRANKLIN The Dark Lady of DNA

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA is a biography of Rosalind Franklin, a scientist whose work helped discover the structure of DNA. It was written by Brenda Maddox and published by HarperCollins in October 2002.  Wikipedia

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When I first learned about the structure of DNA in an undergraduate genetics class, my instructor-a British scientist and feminist-hammered one point into our heads: James Watson and Francis Crick did not discover the famous double helix alone. The x-ray photograph that led to their breakthrough came from the lab of a little known King’s College scientist named Rosalind Franklin. No one gave her credit for her work, my instructor said, so Franklin died in scientific obscurity.

This story has been passed on for generations, but two new biographies tell a slightly different story. In Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (HarperCollins, October 2002) Brenda Maddox sympathizes with Franklin, but shows that she was not an innocent victim: Maurice Wilkins-Franklin’s colleague at Kings College who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick for discovering DNA’s structure-tried to collaborate with Franklin for years, though she spurned his attempts. Maddox brings Franklin to life as a brilliant but unhappy woman who never quite found her place in a male dominated field. WHO DISCOVERED DNA? – Popular Science 150 years

science, women in science, womens history, WOMENS LIVES

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