Interpretation on the Contributions of Dr. Franklin to the Discovery of DNA

Despite the fact that Drt Franklin had contributed heavily to the discovery of DNA‘s structure many have blamed the historical misogyny of the era for her exclusion in the history books . According to the research of Brenda Maddox this is not the complete truth. As it turns out, the reasons why Watson, Crick, and Wilkins did not include Dr. Franklin in the paper or cite her work was because Dr. Franklin had made it clear that she wanted no part in their disorganized, unscientific, speculative work.

Although the information Watson and Crick gained from talking to Wilkins after he had seen Dr. Franklin’s work was absolutely crucial to figuring out how the bases joined together she was ultimately working under Wilkin‘s at the time and her work was not “exactly” private information, Maddox also revealed that the tension between Dr, Franklin and the men at Kings College mostly came from subtle cultural differences and not sexism. In France, where Dr.

Franklin had been working she had more independence, she had more free time, and scientists discussed their work over coffee and pastries at a cafe.

At Kings College, many were studying to become ministers, she worked in a basement, and scientists discussed their work at night in Pubs (a most unwelcoming place for women) All these factors combined according to Maddox would be the fuel for the flames of secrecy that would surround the discovery of DNA’s salt structure, A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid This paper by Watson and Crick defines and describes the necessary features that DNA must possess in order to carry the genetic material.

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The salt of DNA could not have three chains, which was known from Dr. Franklin‘s x-ray crystallography; or have phosphates bonding together because they would repel, These two facts defied the prevailing theories on the structure of DNA. Crick and Watson go on to further describe that the ratio of adenine and thymine as always being the same across various samples from various species which suggests that they must be paired.

In this way cytosine and guanine were also paired. This was the missing link that was crucial to what made their structure of DNA so different from other proposed models. Their model showed how DNA looped, and how it stacked down to the specificity of angstroms My Interpretation I would like to agree with Brenda Maddox that Dr. Franklin had no interest in being included in the exhibition that was the discovery of DNA‘s structure. Watson and Crick have become so famous for it, that it is almost as if they discovered DNA! Drr Franklin was not an exhibitionists with an agenda to become a Nobel winner like Watson, Crick, and Wilkins. She did not like Kings College most likely because of the dreary weather, her accommodations, and the pretentiousness of the institution. 1 have no doubt that the men referred to her as “Rosy“ and assumed she was trying to get a husband if she dressed up It is common for people to place stereotypes on people when they are not open about their thoughts and feelings; even when our eyes miss something, our brain just fills it in, making us susceptible to optical illusions Watson and Crick were an amazing team.

They put together pieces of a puzzle spread out across Europe and made sense of it with the help of Drt Franklin‘s excellent x-ray crystallography, They had many advantages on their side, Crick’s wife was an artist and was able to render them drawings for their published paper, Watson was ambitious and young, Wilkins had good intuition and insight into DNAs structure through his own work and Dc Franklin’s If we had waited for Dr. Franklin to come to a conclusive decision on the structure of DNA we would not have been able to move forward as quickly with our knowledge of genetics, Importance to the Class These works are very important to understanding the history of science and how science is not perfect.

Science is a “boy’s club” and sometimes good research and good researchers go unnoticed because they are not a part of “the club” It helps put into perspective how many people it takes in order for a discovery to be made and it shows the flaws of scientific bias as everyone had come to assume protein was what held the genetic information Readings like this one reinforce the purpose of the class which is to show people why scientific literacy is important. Without review and scrutiny from the public no one would know of BL Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of DNA.

Works Cited

  1. J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick , A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, 25 April 1953, Nature Brenda Maddox, The double helix and the ‘wronged heroine’, 23 January 2003
  2. Nature Vol 421 J. D. WATSON and F. H. C. CRICK, Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, 30 May 1953

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Interpretation on the Contributions of Dr. Franklin to the Discovery of DNA. (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from

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