Terrific Woman Tuesday: Rosalind Franklin

Do you remember learning about DNA in your science class? Your teacher might’ve explained that James Watson and Francis Crick had uncovered the double helix structure of DNA. But did your teacher tell you that a woman helped them uncover that? Our terrific woman terrific woman this Tuesday is Rosalind Franklin!


Rosalind is the woman behind the discovery yet no one gives her credit. She used her expertise in X-ray crystallography to obtain photographs of DNA diffraction patterns.


Without Rosalind’s permission, her pictures were leaked and her science partner, Wilkins showed Watson. A light bulb turned on in Watson’s brain when he saw the pictures, and him and his science partner, Francis ended up taking all of the credit for Rosalind’s discovery.


Rosalind didn’t know how significant her photographs of the DNA were and she died unacknowledged for her role in it. Thank you Rosalind for your studies and your work in science. She may not have been acknowledged when she was alive but she is definitely acknowledged today. So if DNA hasn’t been discussed in your biology class yet, be sure to mention Rosalind when this lesson is brought up! 🙂

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