Calendar Curiosities: April 16, 1958- Rosalind Franklin, biophysicist & double helix ‘photographer’ dies.

The 2008/2009 Skepchick/Skepdude Calendars are slated to go on sale June 1st.  (Details for purchase coming soon.)  They’re full of geeky, skeptical, science-y goodness, so be sure to get your order in early!

Moving on to the exceptional Dr. Franklin:

Very short backstory:  Researching at King’s College London, Franklin studied the structure of DNA.  Using her expertise as an x-ray crystallographer,  she took the famous Photo 51, used by Watson and Crick as part of the evidence supporting the double-helix structure of DNA, in their Nobel Prize winning, world changing paper published in Nature on 25 April 1953.  That same issue features an article co-authored by Franklin, which includes Photo 51.

Skepchick point of interest: Before her death from cancer at the too-young age of 37, Franklin was a ground breaking girl scientist.  She was an assertive, fastidious, careful researcher, and did significant work on resolving the structure of DNA, as well as the microstructure of coal, and the complete tobacco mosaic virus- all using x-ray crystallography.  Rosalind Franklin

Not-so-Skepchick? There is some controversy regarding the sharing of that famous photo with Watson and Crick.  There is certainly evidence that her contributions were minimized, and due to her untimely death in 1958, she was ineligible for consideration for the 1962 Nobel Prize.  Watson’s portrayal of her in The Double Helix was condemned as inaccurate by their peers at the time of it’s publication.


Unrelated to Dr. Franklin, but calendar significant:  Virginia Tech: We Remember.  Hug the ones you love, today and everyday.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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