NOVA Education: Rosalind Franklin's Legacy
When it comes to her place in the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, many renowned scientists believe Rosalind Franklin has not received fair treatment. This resource from NOVA features an interview with biologist Lynne Osman Elkin, a noted author on Franklin's contributions to science. Your students will appreciate Dr. Elkin's engaging, emphatic argument that Franklin deserved to share the Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick.
website  -  details
James Watson: How We Discovered DNA
This 21-minute TedTalks video features Nobel laureate James Watson telling the story of how he and his research partner, Francis Crick, discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. In the 1950's, the quest to unlock the secret of DNA was well underway, with scientists in the U.S. and the U.K. in hot competition. Of the leading researchers associated with this work, James Watson is one of a very few still living. Rosalind Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958. Francis Crick, Linus Pauling, Maurice Wilkins, and Erwin Chargaff are all deceased as well. In this video, Dr. Watson presents science as a human endeavor, engaged in by real people who are fallible. Does he appropriately share credit with other contributors, such as Franklin? Watch and decide for yourself.
The Double Helix and the "Wronged Heroine"
This two-page article, published in Nature in 2003, assesses whether Rosalind Franklin was denied appropriate credit for her research in DNA structure due to prejudice against women within her workplace. The author suggests that several factors led to Franklin being somewhat isolated from her peers, but that systemic misogyny was not one of those factors.
Photograph 51: A Drama by Anna Ziegler
It's not often that we link to a resource in the AAPT Digi Kits which has an associated cost. This is one of those exceptions. Rosalind Franklin's story was dramatized in the play Photograph 51, written by Anna Ziegler. It is the recipient of multiple prestigious international awards. We admire the play because it squarely addresses both the social and the academic challenges of a woman trying to navigate laboratory dynamics in the 1950's, yet also portrays Franklin as a human being with strengths and weaknesses. It will help instill in your students a deeper understanding of the great struggles faced by female scientists in gaining respect and recognition. Teachers: The play can be obtained at the "Website" link below in print or digital formats for a cost beginning at $9.00