Rosalind Franklin

22 Feb, 2018 570 Biology

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the pioneering scientist Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958). During her distinguished career, Franklin carried out ground-breaking research into coal and viruses but she is perhaps best remembered for her investigations in the field of DNA. In 1952 her research generated a famous image that became known as Photograph 51. When the Cambridge scientists Francis Crick and James Watson saw this image, it enabled them the following year to work out that DNA has a double-helix structure, one of the most important discoveries of modern science. Watson, Crick and Franklin’s colleague Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize in 1962 for this achievement but Franklin did not and today many people believe that Franklin has not received enough recognition for her work.

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  • Patricia Fara 17 episodes
    President of the British Society for the History of Science
  • Jim Naismith 2 episodes
    Interim lead of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Director of the Research Complex at Harwell and Professor at the University of Oxford
  • Judith Howard 3 episodes
    Professor of Chemistry at Durham University

Reading list

  • My Sister Rosalind Franklin
    Jenifer Glynn (Oxford University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Man in the Monkeynut Coat: William Astbury and the Forgotten Road to the Double-Helix
    Kersten T. Hall (Oxford University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
    Brenda Maddox (HarperCollins, 2002) Google Books →
  • Rosalind Franklin and DNA
    Anne Sayre (W. W. Norton, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
    James D. Watson (W&N, 2010) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b09rzm9y

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Auto-category: 572.8 (Genetics and molecular biology)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in 1952, Rosalind Franklin was at King's College, London, investigating the structure of DNA, creating images for analysis.