Rosalind Franklin with a microscope in 1955.Author MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. WIKIMEDIA

Top 10 Remarquable Facts about Rosalind Franklin


Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born to a wealthy and powerful British Jewish family on July 25, 1920—16 April 50 Chepstow Villas in Notting Hill, London. In the household of five children, Rosalind was the second child and the older daughter.

The parents of Franklin participated in the relocation of Jewish refugees from Europe. Most notably the Kindertransport migrants, the refugees had managed to flee the Nazis.

At age 15, she made the decision to pursue a career in science. Rosalind put in a lot of effort to secure her ideal job. She was an X-ray crystallographer and British chemist. Her work was essential to the knowledge of the molecular structures of viruses, coal, and graphite as well as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).

During her lifetime, Rosalind’s work on coal and viruses was praised. Her contributions to the development of DNA’s structure, however, went largely unappreciated throughout her lifetime.

Numerous scholars have recognized and celebrated Rosalind Franklin’s accomplishments. Additionally, Rosalind Franklin earned fame both on the big and small screens.

Let’s learn more about  the Top 10 Remarquable Facts about Rosalind Franklin

1. Her Middle Name was in Memory of Her Uncle’s First Wife

The middle name of Rosalind was Elsie. Hugh Franklin, her uncle, was a well-known member of the suffrage movement. Due to the flu epidemic, his first wife passed away in 1918. Elsie, Hugh’s first wife, was therefore honored by having her middle name given to Rosalind.

2. Franklin Discovered her Calling Early

She enrolled with her brother Roland at West London’s Norland Place School when she was six years old. Additionally, she became early interested in hockey and cricket. Franklin enrolled in Sussex’s Lindores School for Young Ladies when she was nine years old.

Franklin enrolled in St Paul’s Girls’ School in West London’s Hammersmith when she was eleven. These subjects were only seldom taught at girls’ schools in London. Franklin excelled in physics, Latin, and athletics while attending this school.

In 1938, Franklin enrolled at Newnham College in Cambridge. She earned a second-class honors degree in chemistry as part of the Natural Sciences Tripos.

3. Her Coal Research Aided the Aerospace industry

Franklin worked at the British Coal Utilization Research Association (BCURA) after receiving her degree, where she conducted research on coal and charcoal and their potential applications beyond fuel.

Franklin measured the density of coal and used that information to study its porosity. By doing this, she was able to determine how the permeability of the porous space and the tiny constrictions in coal pores relate to one another. She contributed to the classification of coals and the precise prediction of their performance for fuel purposes as well as the creation of wartime equipment like gas masks by coming to the conclusion that chemicals were evacuated as the temperature climbed in order of molecular size.

Her research served as the foundation for her doctoral dissertation, which she completed in 1945. This dissertation, along with a number of her subsequent studies on the microstructures of carbon fibers, contributed to the use of carbon composites in the design of aircraft and spacecraft.

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4. She was good at the Practical Aspects  of Applying X-ray Crystallographer 

Franklin relocated to Paris in 1947 and began working with Jacques Mering at the main laboratory run by the French government, where Mering was studying x-ray diffraction of amorphous substances in great detail. Franklin received instruction in the practical elements of using X-ray crystallography on amorphous materials.

This created fresh difficulties for both the execution of studies and the interpretation of the findings. Franklin used them to solve additional issues with coal and other carbonaceous materials, particularly the modifications to atom arrangement when they are transformed into graphite.

5. She Helped Lay the Foundation For the Field of Structural Virology

Rosalind Franklin worked in the London-based Birkbeck College’s crystallography lab from 1953 to 1958. She finished her research on coals and DNA in this location.

She started a fresh endeavor centered on figuring out the molecular makeup of the tobacco mosaic virus. She discovered through these investigations that the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus was contained within its protein rather than its core cavity. Compared to the typical double helix seen in the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and higher species, this RNA’s single-strand helix structure is thus demonstrated.

6. She was Best Described as an Agnostic

Evidently, her lack of religious belief was the result of her own reasoning rather than the influence of anyone else. She was a young girl when she first became skeptical. Her mother recalled that she had disavowed religious belief.

Franklin didn’t give up on Jewish customs, though. She took Hebrew classes while her pals went to church at Lindores School because she was the only Jewish student there.

She honored her grandfather’s wishes and joined the Jewish Society during her first term at Cambridge. Franklin admitted that she had “always knowingly been a Jew” to her sister.

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7. Franklin often Expressed her Political Views

Franklin at first attributed the start of the war to Winston Churchill. She later appreciated him, nevertheless, for his lectures. In the 1940 Cambridge University by-election, Professor John Ryle ran for parliament as an independent, but he lost. Franklin actively backed him.

8. There’s an Object in Space Named after Rosalind Franklin

An asteroid was found in 1997 by Australian amateur astronomer John Broughton at the Reedy Creek Observatory in Queensland. In honor of Franklin, he gave his discovery the name “9241 Rosfranklin.” The asteroid is a main-belt asteroid, which means that it is positioned in the Solar System’s region roughly midway between Mars and Jupiter’s orbits.

9. Franklin was never Nominated for a Nobel Prize

Rosalind Franklin Deserved the Nobel Prize. Author Cyndy Sims Parr. WIKIMEDIA

Her work played a significant role in the discovery of DNA’s structure, which together with subsequent related research resulted in Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins receiving the Nobel Prize in 1962. The DNA structure was not fully established during Franklin’s lifetime because she passed away in 1958.

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10. Franklin Expressed her Interest in Travelling

Rosalind Franklin loved to travel, and she especially loved hiking. Her family frequently went on vacation to Cornwall or Wales. Franklin developed a lifelong affection for France and its language during a trip there in 1938. She believed that the French way of life was “much superior” to the English way at the time.

Franklin also nearly lost her life while hiking in the French Alps with Jean Kerslake in 1946. Franklin fell down a slope and was just about saved.

Franklin visited the country multiple times on business. She frequently demonstrated her sense of humor and was especially joyful with her American pals.



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