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St. Clair County Community College Library

Women in Science

Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958)

Rosalind FranklinA London born chemist whose x-ray diffraction studies confirmed the Watson-Crick DNA model. Franklin began her physical chemistry studies in 1938 at Newnham College of Cambridge University. Following graduation, Franklin as awarded a scholarship and a grant from Department of Scientific and Industrial Research to continue her studies and perform research on kinetics of polymerization reaction. In 1945, she received her PhD from Cambridge University. Throughout her studies, Franklin published on the physical structures of carbon and coals, later focusing on viruses and DNA. Many of her studies relied on the use of X-ray diffraction and X-ray crystallography techniques, which she used to help explain and verify the double helix structure of DNA. The recognition of contributions to the study of the structure of DNA were a cause of controversy for some time, many feeling that Franklin did not get the credit she deserved during her lifetime.





"Franklin, Rosalind (Elsie)." The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Women's Biography, edited by Jennifer S. Uglow, et al., Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 4th edition, 2005. Credo Reference, Accessed 25 Jan. 2019.

"The Rosalind Franklin Papers Biographical Information." Profiles in Science: U.S> National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services, Accessed 25 Jan. 2019.

Image credit: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Related Websites

DNA: The Double Helix - Molecular Workbench