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Biological literature written by women

lisa vaillancourt vaillan at pop.uky.edu
Mon Mar 5 12:13:37 EST 2001

Rosalind Franklin did not work in Maurice Wilkins lab, nor did she work
under him in any way.  She was an known expert in X-ray crystallography and
was hired by the laboratory director at Kings to build an X-ray diffraction
unit there.  She had her own program, and she came to her conclusions
independently.  Franklin was not included in the "old boys network" that
allowed Wilkins to interact both casually and formally with Watson and
Crick.  She basically had the information that would tell her that DNA was
a double helix, but she did not put it together, probably at least because
she was working in such isolation.

I believe that the Nobel is never awarded posthumously, but the question of
whether Franklin would have shared in it, even if she had lived, will
likely never be answered.

For more information, see Anne Sayre's 1975 biography of Franklin, and the
following web site:

Lisa Vaillancourt
Assistant Professor
Department of Plant Pathology
S-305 Agricultural Science Center North
Lexington, KY 40546-0091

telephone (859) 257-2203
fax (859) 323-1961


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