Dr. Rosalind Franklin

Dr. Rosalind Franklin, PhD

Rosalind Franklin, an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer, helped discover the molecular structure of DNA at King’s College. Using X-ray diffraction, she photographed the helical structure of DNA, known as “Photograph 51,” and discovered the density and helical form of DNA. The unpublished photo was secretly disclosed to scientists Watson and Crick, who used the photo along with data to present their final DNA model in 1953, and sadly took most of the credit. She left King’s College soon after, devoting her time to studying viruses and their structure. We can only imagine what more her cutting-edge work would have yielded had she not died at age 37.

Learn more at Britannica.com

« View All Historical Women