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About usFaculty of Behavioural and Social SciencesResearchRosalind Franklin Fellowship

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge at the age of 26. Her research at the laboratory of Kings College , London , was an important contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA. Franklin used X-ray cristallography in her research, whereas her colleague Wilkins used molecular methods.

At the same time, Watson and Crick at the University of Cambridge were trying to discover the structure of DNA using a theoretical modelling approach. When they became aware of the results of Franklin 's experiments and saw her X-ray photos (unbeknownst to Franklin ), they realised that they had empirical evidence for their theory of the double helix. Unfortunately they did not include her in their publications.

Franklin died of cancer at the age of 37, probably as a result of inadequate radiation safety measures. Had she survived, she would have become one of the most renowned female scientists of her generation in Europe .

Today her work is a shining example to young, brilliant female scientists who are engaged in a career in science.

Last modified:29 October 2019 1.07 p.m.
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