Rosalind Franklin

In celebration of February 11, International Day of Women & Girls in Science

Rosalind Elsie Franklin was a brilliant and meticulous research scientist whose interdisciplinary work made fundamental contributions to various areas of science – the most notable one being the discovery of the DNA double helix. Franklin’s name isn’t the one that comes first to mind when one considers the Nobel-winning discovery. Still, her incredible experimental skill, methodological ideology, and technological expertise, highlight Franklin’s legacy as an outstanding scientist committed to scientific research.

Born on the 25th of July, 1920, to an Anglo-Jewish family in Britain, Franklin was keen on studying science from a very young age. She attended St Paul’s Girls School – one of the few schools in London that taught science to girls – and in 1938, she attended Newnham College of Cambridge University to study physical chemistry. At the time, Newnham College was one of the two women’s colleges in Cambridge.  Franklin was awarded her BSc in 1941; but as a woman, according to the rules at the time, she technically wasn’t allowed to graduate. Franklin continued her studies at Cambridge by earning a fellowship for research in physical chemistry. In addition to the challenges of being a female scientist in a primarily male-dominated field, the rise of Hitler and the Second World War defined her research and course of action. Franklin served as a London air raid warden, and in 1942, she gave up her fellowship to work for the British Coal Utilization Research Association investigating the physical chemistry of carbon and coal for the war effort. This research later proved valuable for manufacturing wartime devices like modern gas masks.  Despite the adversity, Franklin earned her doctorate in 1945 from Cambridge University.

After receiving her doctorate, Franklin accepted a research position at Paris where she studied X-ray crystallography techniques. When Franklin joined King’s College in 1951, she started working on X-ray diffraction methods to study the DNA; at that time, very little was known about the DNA structure. The X-Ray image her team captured – named ‘Photograph 51’ – was a major breakthrough as it made the double helical structure of the DNA evident for the first time. Based on this image, and Franklin’s published and unpublished data, in 1953 Watson and Crick were able to suggest the double helix structure of DNA as it is accepted today. This discovery earned Watson, Crick and Wilkins, a coworker of Franklin’s at King’s College London, a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1962. Until this day, it is disputed whether Franklin knew her data had been shared. Franklin’s contribution to the DNA model was not acknowledged by Watson and Crick, neither when they first published the DNA model nor when they received the Nobel Prize. James Watson only credited Franklin’s work and her integral contribution to the discovery of the DNA model in his ‘The Double Helix’ book in 1968. In 1953, Franklin moved to Birkbeck College, where she continued working on coal, DNA and plant viruses. During her time at Birkbeck, she won a prestigious award worth of 3-years of American funding – the largest sum ever allocated to Birkbeck College at the time.   Although she wasn’t able to continue her work on plant viruses, the continuation of that research earned her student, Aaron Klug, a Nobel Prize in 1982.

In 1956, Rosalind Franklin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She continued to work while battling the disease and published several papers during that time until her death in April 1958. Throughout her 16-year career, Franklin published a total of 45 articles on coals and carbons, DNA and viruses. Unfortunately, during her lifetime, Franklin received very little recognition for her contributions to one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century – the discovery of the double helix. Although her life and cutting-edge research was halted by her untimely death, Rosalind Franklin made extraordinary contributions to science and played an invaluable part in shaping the scientific world. Today, in the hope of inspiring future generations of scientists, both females and males, we share her story and remember her as she would have preferred: first and foremost, as a scientist.

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation of life… it is based on fact, experience, and experiment… In my view, all that is necessary for faith is the belief that by doing our best we shall come nearer to success and that success in our aims (the improvement of the lot of mankind, present and future) is worth attaining.”

Rosalind Franklin in a letter to Ellis Franklin, ca. summer 1940


Share
View All Posts

NIPD Genetics - Privacy Policy

General Statement

This Privacy Policy applies only to www.nipd.com and its subdomains (hereafter collectively referred to as “Sites") that link to this policy. NIPD Genetics Sites are owned by NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd and are operated by NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd and on occasion by a third-party that is responsible for the technical maintenance of the Sites.

If, you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, please do not access or use any of NIPD Genetics Sites.

NIPD Genetics values your interest in NIPD Genetics, its products and its services. NIPD Genetics takes the protection of your data seriously.

Personal data for purposes of this Privacy Policy, is any information by which you can be individually identified, including, but not limited to, your name, profession, address, e-mail address, and telephone number.

You may contact NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd at
NIPD Genetics Public Company Ltd
Neas Engomis 31
Engomi, Nicosia
2409, Cyprus

NIPD Genetics Data Protection Officer can be reached at dpo@nipd.com

This Privacy Policy applies only to the Sites as defined above and which are operated by NIPD Genetics. The NIPD Genetics Privacy Policy seeks to inform the users of its Sites of the following:

NIPD Genetics will not use or share your information with anyone, except as described in this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy does not apply to any information we might collect by other digital and offline means and or from other digital and offline sources. The use of information collected through our Sites shall be limited to the purposes under this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use to customers.

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Sites and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Sites. By using the Sites, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from www.nipd.com

Type of personal information NIPD Genetics may collect through its Sites

Information Collection And Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Sites and services to you.

Personal Data

While using NIPD Genetics Sites, you may be asked to provide NIPD Genetics certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you ("Personal Information"). Personal Information that might be used to identify you includes, but is not limited to:

If you send us a query via our Contact us form, your email address, the content and any follow up emails are retained indefinitely.

Cookies and Usage Data

Usage Data

We may also collect information how the Sites are accessed and used ("Usage Data"). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer's Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Sites that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Sites and hold certain information.

Cookies are files with small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Tracking technologies also used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze our Sites.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Sites.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Session Cookies. We use Session Cookies to operate our Sites.

Preference Cookies. We use Preference Cookies to remember your preferences and various settings.

Security Cookies. We use Security Cookies for security purposes.

Visitor behavior cookies. To understand how visitors use and navigate the Sites

Keyword cookies. To understand how visitors discover the Sites.

Use of Data

www.nipd.com uses the collected data for various purposes:

Transfer of Data

Your information, including personal data, may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside Cyprus and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including personal data, to Cyprus and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

www.nipd.com will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your personal data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

NIPD Genetics complies with the protection of personal data regulation and will not sale or trade your personal data.

NIPD Genetics may disclose your personal data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate, maintain or operate our Sites ("Service Providers"), to provide the SItes on our behalf, to perform service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Sites is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Sites.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.

You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js, and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.

For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page

Access to your personal data, correction, deletion, and Opting Out

You have the right to review, update or delete any of your personal data by sending a request at NIPD Genetics Personal Data Officer pdo@nipd.com

Links to Other Sites

Our Sites may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that third party's site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third-party sites or services.

Children's Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 ("Children").

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the "effective date" at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact pdo@nipd.com

Ok got it!