Last modified on August 19, 2018, at 03:44

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (July 25, 1920 – April 16, 1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made high-quality X-ray diffraction images of DNA, including the famous "Photo 51". She gave a lecture at Kings about her work. She contributed to a Medical Research Council (MRC) report about her work.

She had some difficulties in working with male peers, notably Maurice Wilkins and James Watson. Watson referred to her as "Rosy". She left King College in late 1952 and left her scientific data to her successor. Photo 51 and some of her other work was of use to Watson and Crick in their successful effort to determine the structure of DNA. Franklin published a paper with her assistant in the same edition of Nature in which Watson and Crick published their famous paper.[1]

After finishing her work on DNA, Franklin led pioneering work at Birkbeck on the molecular structures of viruses.[2] Her collaborator Aaron Klug continued her research, winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1982.

The parent organization of the Chicago Medical School, the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, was named in her honor.[3] Some feminists make much of the significance of her work and her personality.

See also


  1. R.E. Franklin & R.G. Gosling (April 25, 1953), "Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate" (PDF), Nature, 171 (4356): 740–741
  2. James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. Chemical Heritage Foundation. Retrieved on 1 November 2013.
  3. Discover a rich history & industry-leading future. Retrieved on February 13, 2017.