Women in Science: Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin looking under a microscope Retrieved from

  Rosalind Franklin

The first time that I had ever become aware of any prejudices in the scientific field was during my eleventh grade biology class. You don’t usually think about these issues existing in the realm of science when you are a teenager as most classes are concerned with teaching facts surrounding physiology, photosynthesis… you get the picture. However, during this particular biology class, we were covering the topic of DNA, and we had just learnt about the double helix structure discovered by James Watson and Francis Crick. After reading my textbook thoroughly (because I actually liked, and still do like, reading science textbooks), I had learnt that the story behind the discovery of DNA was more complex than I had thought. This double helix structure, made up of nitrogenous bases, and framed by a phosphate and sugar backbone, would not have been discovered if it were not for the previous research conducted by Rosalind Franklin. She had used X-ray diffraction to take photographs of DNA in her studies. Continue reading