The Monthly Scientist: Miss April

The Monthly Scientist

Goodness is this the Monthly Scientist actually in the correct month! Well I must admit I was ashamed at myself that I didn’t know this women’s name. So to change that I wanted to honour April to her:

Miss Rosalind Elsie Franklin


Born: July 25, 1920 in Notting Hill, London

Died: Apr 16, 1958 (at age 37) in Chelsea, London

Noted for: English Chemist and X-ray crystallographer. She is also credited for fine structure of coal and graphite, Structure of DNA, structure of viruses.

Why scientist of the month?

I guess when I was looking at different scientists Franklin caught my eye because of how old she was when she died. She did so much in just 37 years and it was full of controversy!

Franklin is credited for some of the work on the structure of DNA. But what about Watson and Crick? They’re the two scientists you see posed with the picture of the model of DNA. Well they did alongside another scientist, Wilkins, receive the Nobel prize for the double helix structure in 1962. That’s four years after Franklin’s death.  Unfortunately that’s understandable given the time. When Wilkins and Franklin were working on the project at King’s College in London, Wilkins thought Franklin was just a technical assistant and not in fact her peer. According to some sources at the time only males were allowed in the university dining rooms, and after hours Franklin’s colleagues went to men-only pubs. In the end Watson and Crick beat her to publication and her paper was not even listed as supporting evidence to there’s.

All this being said she did a lot of other fruitful work on the structure of the tobacco mosaic virus and the structure of coal and graphite. In 1956 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died less than 2 years later.

ThatBiologist Everywhere!





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