The Matilda Effect: Hidden Gems of Science

July 20, 2020 2 min read

Rosalind Franklin is one of the most significant female scientists of the twentieth century - yet also one of the least credited. Although she made incredibly important discoveries on the DNA structure, changing the world’s understanding of genetics and biology, Franklin’s work has only been recognized in recent years.

Franklin was a determined and brilliant woman. At the age of 18, she studied physics and chemistry at Cambridge University, and then later moved to Paris to study X-ray crystallography. In 1951, when Franklin was in her early thirties, she began working at King’s College in London on DNA research. Taking X-ray diffraction images of DNA, and making precise measurements, Franklin discovered that the DNA has the form of a double helix, a structure made of two strands that wind around each other. Without her permission, her colleague, Maurice Wilkins, showed her crucial image of the DNA, called “photo 51 to two other researchers named James Watson and Francis Crick. Watson and Crick were also attempting to model the DNA structure but were unable to accomplish this until they used Franklin’s images and her meticulously created data. Watson and Crick learned from Franklin’s work and used it to create their famous DNA model. However, in their published findings, they only gave passing credit to Franklin.

Today, when people hear of the double helix, the names Watson and Crick are most closely associated with the important findings. In fact, in 1962, along with Maurice Wilkins, they won the Nobel Prize for their work, four years after Franklin's death in 1958. For years Franklin went without any major recognition, until more recently when those in the science field started to realize her achievements. In 1982 Iota Sigma Pi designated Rosalind Franklin as a National Honorary Member. Additionally, in 1993 King’s College in London placed a plaque of acknowledgment on its wall stating “R.E. Franklin...DNA - X-ray diffraction studies - 1943.” More recently, in 2019, the European Space Agency named one of their ExoMars rovers “Rosalind Franklin.” 

The world now begins to honor Franklin, and understand that without her crucial findings, scientists would not fully understand reproduction and cell division, as well as mutations and other genetic disorders. Today, her work helps those in the fields of medicine and research and will continue to impact future generations.

Visit our pages: 



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Features from BIOTOC Connection

Galentine’s Day 2021: Treat Your Bridal Party AND Yourself with our Top Gift Picks - Dermafirm USA
Galentine’s Day 2021: Treat Your Bridal Party AND Yourself with our Top Gift Picks

January 25, 2021 1 min read

Celebrate your bridal party this Galentine's Day with our ultimate skincare and jewelry gift guide!

It is never too early to start prepping for your big day. Unpause your wedding planning by gifting you (and your bridal party) a healthy, glowing complexion that shines (almost) as bright as you do.

Special gift guide for brides, featuring luxury jewelry and skincare - Dermafirm USA
Special gift guide for brides, featuring luxury jewelry and skincare

January 25, 2021 2 min read

There's always an occasion that requires the perfect gift—find one with our bride-to-be approved gift guide!

Between the holidays and weddings (including your own), thoughts about all of the gifts you need to buy are likely running through your mind. This time of year is already stressful, making being a bride-to-be prepping for your big day that much harder. We are sharing one bride-to-be's advice on selecting and buying the perfect gifts with our ultimate gift guide. Discover Devon's top picks for powerful skincare—choices that can be used on the big day (or every day).

Beautiful brides by Dermafirm: healthy glowing skin - Dermafirm USA
Beautiful brides by Dermafirm: healthy glowing skin

January 25, 2021 2 min read

Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day!

Leaders and experts in skincare and beauty are working to make the world a better place by empowering, evolving, and embracing, all brides and their loved ones to experience, value, and share the impact of nature's ingredients and true craftsmanship at an affordable price.