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Schnader Salutes Rosalind Franklin, an Unsung Woman Hero, in Honor of International Women’s Day

On March 11, 2020 by Schnader in News

In honor of International Women’s Day 2020, each day this week we will be sharing stories of unsung women who have made great changes in the world.

Rosalind Franklin was born in London in 1920. Long before she would become known as a leading scientific mind, her family made a difference in the world by taking in Jewish refugees from the Nazis, pre-World War II.

Franklin had an outstanding scientific mind, receiving honors in her academic studies at Cambridge University. In 1951, at the age of 31, she began working at King’s College London in the biophysics unit. She and her research assistant discovered that there were two forms of DNA, the “A” Form and the “B” form. Their photograph of the “B” form, known as “Photo 51,” would help change history. But Franklin wouldn’t receive her due credit for the discovery.

Photo 51

A male colleague who often clashed with Franklin submitted the photograph to James Watson and Francis Crick without Franklin’s knowledge. This photograph was crucial to Watson and Crick developing a model of DNA, but Franklin and her colleague’s contributions were mentioned only in a footnote. In 1958, she passed away from Ovarian cancer at age 37, five years before Watson and Crick would receive a Nobel Prize for a discovery for which she had laid the groundwork. Although Watson suggested she should receive a Nobel prize for her work, no posthumous award was given.

Schnader salutes Rosalind Franklin. We are inspired by her contributions to science.

More information about Rosalind Franklin can be found here:

https://www.biography.com/scientist/rosalind-franklin

http://www.dnaftb.org/19/bio-3.html