chemist (1920 - 1957)

Rosalind Franklin received her degree in Chemistry in 1951 from Cambridge University. It was while working as a research associate for James Randall at King's College that she was the first to recognize the helix shape of DNA.

Her work was passed on to James Watson and Francis Crick, who along with Maurice Wilkins, a coworker of Rosalind's, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of the double helix. Her work, along with that of others, was built into Watson and Crick's detailed description of DNA. She has never received official credit for her contribution to the discovery. She also contributed much to studies of coal and plant viruses.

She died at the age of 37 from cancer. You can read more about her in this Physics Today article.

On real paper you can read Rosalind Franklin and DNA by Anne Sayre, 1978, W. W. Norton or Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox, 2002, HarperCollins.

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