Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin had a significant role in one of the 20th century's greatest scientific discoveries (Image:

Why didn't DNA researchers Watson and Crick acknowledge the key contribution of a female scientist?

  • September 1, 2010 5:40am

Lynne Elkin, Cal State East Bay professor emerita biology, will present, “Rosalind Franklin: Discovering the Double Helix,” as part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) series on the Concord campus.

Watson and Crick, masters of DNA, never acknowledged in their famous papers or 1962 Nobel Prize acceptance speeches the crucial contribution Rosalind Franklin made to their work. Franklin was the X-ray diffraction expert who recorded the data which allowed Watson and Crick to build the backbone of their model of DNA as early as March 1953. Tragically, Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, just 37 years old, never having received credit for providing the crystallographic data that helped unlock DNA’s secrets.

Visit the OLLI Web site for more information or to register for the program. 


California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

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