I finally saw the Rosalind Franklin video 'photo 51'

Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2010 06:23 pm
I think the work atmosphere was very bad and she left for another position. Her photo revealed the basic structure and components of the double helix. She would have discovered the DNA herself except she was unwittingly put in the race. The guys all worked behind her back. They feared Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling who had already proposed a single helix but was not correct. They were lost until Rosalind's office mate, Wilkins, used her work and gave it to Watson and Crick.


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Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 01:12 am
The entire story would be a fascinating story about how childish and selfish "collaborative" science can be. Oswald Avery opened the whole thing by showing that DNA WAS undoubtedly that molecule which controlled genetics.We also forgot to add Maurice Wilkins to the pile of conspirators. He provided the samples and the crystalline extracts for Franklin to run on the X-ray powder camera. "photo 51 "and the several others actually show (only together) that there is a dimporphic xline structure to DNA that means that it could only be a double helix. Wilkins seemed more to be collaborating with Watson and CRick. Nevertheless Lawrence Bragg and Linus PAuling had already done everything except infer the complete double helix structure, and Maurice Wilkins began conferring with Watson and Crick because (as was often inferred but never stated ) Franklin , who was already publishing her X ray photos , was exceptionally hard to work with.(was this just a period sexism or was there something to it?)

Wilkins , as it turned out, shared the Nobel with Watson and Crick and, by that time Franklin was long dead and was out of the picture.

I hope someone does a movie on this because it shows how petty folks can be .

Also, we have to factor in Arthur Kornberg whose own earlier work was more important in the function of DNA than was Watson and CRick and Wilkins work that focused only on its structure. Kornbergs Nobel prize was 4 yars earlier than WCandW's


Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 04:44 pm
was this just a period sexism or was there something to it?

In the video the person who hired Franklin made some decisions that made the system so wretched for Franklin. Wilkins was a womanizer and he was off for some weeks and in that time the Department head who hired Franklin made Franklin and her Ph. D. student the sole research team without informing Wilkins who was Franklin's immediate supervisor. So you can see the conflict brewing. Franklin thought she was the sole boss of the project while Wilkins thouhgt he was the boss. On top of that there was the competition with Linus Pauling. They were deathly afraid of Pauling. Wilkins began co-operating with Watson and Crick. Franklin was the newbie on the project and was not aware of the competition. She was just doing good work dilligently. She was so good that she was made the sole supervisor of the project.
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Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 05:18 pm
There was a BBC production back in the late 80's called "The Race for the Double Helix" which showed the human side of the scientific research behind the discovery. Juliet Stevenson was particularly good in her portrayal of Rosalind Franklin.
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 06:03 pm
Franklin was born in Notting Hill, London[6] into an affluent and influential British-Jewish family.[7] Her father was Ellis Arthur Franklin (1894–1964), a London merchant banker and her mother was Muriel Frances Waley (1894–1976); she was the elder daughter and second of the family of five children. Her father's uncle was Herbert Samuel (later Viscount Samuel) who was Home Secretary in 1916 and the first practising Jew to serve in the British Cabinet.[8] He was also the first High Commissioner (effectively governor) for the British Mandate of Palestine. Her aunt Helen Carolin Franklin was married to Norman de Mattos Bentwich, who was Attorney General in the British Mandate of Palestine.[9] She was active in trade union organisation and women's suffrage, and was later a member of the London County Council.[10][11]

I also wonder if Watson knew she was Jewish or that she was involved with trade union organisation and women's suffrage? Watson ridiculed her looks.
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 06:40 am
WAtson did a total rscrub of his image in his 2003 book "DNA". In it he does a comp;lete revisionist view back on all the scientists involved including Franklin. He kisses her ass in death in a way that is a bit curious.
Reply Thu 18 Nov, 2010 01:26 pm
I guess he is worried aout his image for posterity. Maybe he didn't know as they were all scrambling. At that time period things were rough. Maybe he saw the photo 51 video and realized what conspired and feel contrite now. Wilkins and Crick were upset with his "Double Helix" book as Watson portrayed Franklin as the wicked witch academia.
Reply Thu 7 Nov, 2013 07:28 am
Generally people were threatened by super smart women in those years, they didn't fit in to the system.
Jewish academic women did very well in part from intelligence but the Jewish ethic is one of scholarship and the search for knowledge.
Franklin was coming from a different point of view..
Reply Thu 7 Nov, 2013 11:55 am
This post is 3 yrs old. Your comments will be read by others but the Talk72000 member is no longer active here for 1.5 yrs.
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