Franklin 100: Celebrating the life and career of Rosalind Franklin

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Saturday 25 July marks 100 years since the birth of Rosalind Franklin, whose research helped change the world.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute, an independent charity funded through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and managed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is leading the tributes, which include a commemorative 50p piece produced by the Royal Mint to celebrate the occasion, and a celebration of Franklin by King’s College London (KCL).

It was at KCL that Franklin applied her expertise in X-ray crystallography, learned at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de L'État in Paris while researching coal and graphite, to DNA.

In May 1952 Rosalind and Raymond Gosling successfully produced the now famous Photograph 51 by shining an X-ray beam for more than 60 hours at right angles onto a sample of DNA fibres; from this image a three-dimensional model of DNA could be determined.  

Image: Rosalind Franklin. Image Courtesy of the Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London.