Talk:Rosalind Franklin/Archive 7

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"Her uncle was Herbert Samuel (later Viscount Samuel) who was Home Secretary in 1916 and the first practicing Jew to serve in the British Cabinet.[4] He was also the first High Commissioner (effectively governor) for the British Mandate of Palestine.

Her aunt Helen was married to Norman Bentwich who was Attorney General in the British Mandate of Palestine.[5] She was active in trade union organisation and women's suffrage, and was later a member of the London County Council.[6][7]"

The short answer is no, it isn't! It is self-indulgent and tells you nothing about Rosalind Franklin herself! = )

I disagree, if it is done concisely. REF came from a distinguished family of great accomplishments, even by the women. This led to her self confidence ( typical of Franklins) which allowed her to progress in science at a time when women did not typically do well there. At coal meetings and in Paris, this was Ok, but Wilkins interpreted her confidence as an air of superiority. She made it worse by being judgmental and undiplomatic. Talking at length to Wilkins versus Gosling and others at King's made me feel like they were on different planets. I distinctly remember being at a small London B&B room when i finally was able to make phone contact with Margaret (Pratt) and Tony North. I was so shocked when they described the jolly lunches they all had together and how much they liked REF. It was a good thing I had no space to fall down, in the tiny room, so I landed on my bed instead of the floor. Lynne elkin (talk) 00:16, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


What do you mean by "necessary"? If you want to include only informaton that is necessary, then we could just leave the introduction and leave out any other material. What is necessary is for us to say whay she is famous. What makes a good encyclopaedia article is not only including what is necessary. This is a biographical article, background and context are important. Franklin's family were toffs, so we say they were toffs, and we provide certasin evidence that they were toffs. It's called establishing context. The real question is why you feel so strongly that this information, which is directly relevant to Franklin and does not take up a great deal of space, needs to be removed? You keep making unecessary picky changes for no reason. The article is not perfect, but there's no need t make unecessary changes. If you have new info, or have better sources then that's great, but I don't understand why you feel you need to make changes just for the sake of it. Alun 05:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

"Irish Pearl" needs to debate the above, rather than merely reverting! This article does need editing to make it more easily readable; it does not need a history of the Franklin family. Nitramrekcap

Don't tell other users what they need to do. Please remail civil.Alun 05:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Revised Introduction

Now reads:

"Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was an English physical chemist and crystallographer who made important contributions to the understanding of the fine structures of DNA, viruses, coal and graphite. Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray Diffraction images of DNA which formed a basis of Watson and Crick's hypothesis of the double helical structure of DNA in their 1953 publication,[1] and when published constituted critical evidence of the hypothesis.[2] In the years following, she led pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses. She died in 1958 of bronchopneumonia, secondary carcinomatosis, and carcinoma of the ovary; her death certificate read (quote) "A Research Scientist, Spinster, Daughter of Ellis Arthur Franklin, a Banker."

But I do have have serious doubts about "Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray Diffraction images of DNA which formed a basis of Watson and Crick's hypothesis of the double helical structure of DNA in their 1953 publication,[1] and when published constituted critical evidence of the hypothesis.[2]" as all this does is open up the age old, rather tired debate over attribution. No mention is made of the contribution made by Maurice ["The Forgotten Man of DNA"]Wilkins of course - for which he was awarded his share of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The vandalism in the next paragraph ("born in Asia") has been repaired.

Among scientists she might be better known for her virus and carbon work, but because of the Double Helix, the general public mainly has heard about DNA. As far as the alleged "age old rather tired debate over attribution", that is the central ethical issue of the story. And before you go into complaining about Wilkins, you might read carefully to see how I have made a point of acknowledging him throughout this entry, as well as in my Physics Today article, although both are about Franklin, not Wilkins. Also when I wrote my Physics Today article, I had to give up a lot to includ a box specifically devoted to Wilkins. In all venues, I try to acknowledge all five of the people involved. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC) 20:03, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


Anyone who can contribute to Lynne Elkin's forthcoming biography of Rosalind Franklin should contact her on:

  • Lynne Osman Elkin, Ph.D., Professor of biological sciences at California State University in Hayward, who has dedicated much of her studies to researching Rosalind Franklin's scientific contributions.


See: (also:

See also: 17:13, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

She died in 1958 of bronchopneumonia, secondary carcinomatosis, and cancer of the ovary

Why put the emphasis on cancer of the ovary [ie carcinoma of the ovary] when there is ample space in the introductory paragragh for her other two as serious medical conditions? If anyone wants to disagree, you should debate it here and not just revert to the previous version!

what other two as serious medical conditions? You can't get more serious than ovarian cancer, and she was very healthy otherwise.Lynne elkin (talk) 02:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC) You seem not to have had the misfortune of knowing anyone as they were dying of cancer. They do not die directly from cancer, but usually from their other systems shutting down because of the cancer and the cancer treatment.Lynne elkin (talk) 02:27, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


"As a result of her initial groud-breaking work that was taken from by Frances Crick and James Watson without Dr Franklin's permisson this was one of the contributing factors to her early death at only 38 years old. ""

obviously this is a typo for ground breaking, and I am confused about the juxtaposition of the rest of what you are trying to say. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:21, 3 November 2008 (UTC)



I suggest the following is inappropriate: "Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was an English-Jewish physical chemist and crystallographer who made important contributions to the understanding of the fine structures of DNA, viruses, coal and graphite."

So '-Jewish' has been deleted; as ever, rather than revert - can you please debate this point?

Jewish shouldn't appear in the first sentence; if she was Catholic, it wouldn't read "English Catholic."--Gloriamarie 04:23, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

"before she could receive the Nobel Prize which was awarded in 1962 to Watson, Crick, and her colleague Maurice Wilkins, whose role in the discovery consisted of showing Franklin's X-ray diffraction photograph to Watson and Crick.[1]"

The above is unnecessary in the opening paragraph so it has been deleted - so please discuss here?

Martin 07:15, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Congratulations to whoever reinstated the original Discoverers of the Structure of DNA earlier as it looks a lot better with a more comprehensive list from William Astbury to Maurice Wilkins!

Nitramrekcap —The preceding signed but undated comment was added at 10:46, August 21, 2007 (UTC).


"It is not known what would have happened if Franklin had still been alive, because the Nobel Prize cannot be split more than three ways.[2]"

This is a non sequitur - ie defined as 'a conclusion that does not logically follow from the premisses - so unless anyone can justify it being included, it has been deleted as unnecessary.



DNA pioneers
William Astbury
Oswald Avery
Erwin Chargaff
Jerry Donohue
Raymond Gosling
Phoebus Levene
Sir John Randall
Alec Stokes
Herbert Wilson

IT'S TIME FOR A DEMOCRATIC DECISION! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nitramrekcap (talkcontribs)

Wikipedia is not a democracy. Furthermore your "choices" represent no choice at all. The choices are what we make them. Any template can be changed and amended, depending on the consensus on a talk page. As I remember it you were strongly opposed to the template you now favour at one time because you objected to the strong use of colour in the template. Other editors have objected to the inclusion of people only marginally concerned with the events of 1953. The real question then is: Should the template represent the key players in the discovery made in 1953, or should it represent all people involved with the discovery of the structure of DNA, a list considerably longer than that given even in the version you offer. I suggest this compromise. We use two templates, the smaller version that I favour and another template that contains all of the other people involved. Alun 10:13, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

All of those details belong in a separate entry under the title the discovery of the Double helix. That is what Olby's book was designed to do. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:32, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I have just noticed this posting. It is worth having another go at asking why Max Delbrück gets a mention in this template. Q. Did he do any research on DNA? - A. No Q. Did he believe that DNA held genetic information? - A. No. Q. Well, what did he do? - A. His ideas led Schrödinger to write a book which in turn was read by the DNA researchers. This highly indirect connection does not give him enough brownie points in my opinion to appear in the template on the discovery of the structure. Judson's book Eighth Day of Creation quotes David Baltimore, the President of Caltech as saying "The genetics community, particularly around Luria and [Max] Delbrück, never seemed to appreciate that Avery —this is now 1944—and his colleagues had published a paper that quite clearly showed that as chemically pure DNA as you could get would transfer genetic characteristics. And yet the idea that DNA was the carrier of genetic information really didn’t take hold." The book also quotes James Watson as saying "neither Luria nor Delbrück thought in terms of molecules." How then can he appear on a template for the discovery of a structure that he didn't work on and didn't even believe in? JMcC (talk) 14:54, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
This discussion goes back two years on Template talk:Double helix, which is the more correct forum for it. The bone of contention seems to be between User:JWSchmidt and yourself. I don't have a problem with what you say, you could have a go at removing his name from the template, there seems to be no consensus regarding his inclusion one way or the other. Why don't you just remove his name, and say why you are doing it on the temlate talk page and see what happens? Be bold as they say. If it gets reverted then let's not have an edit war. All the best. Alun (talk) 19:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair-use image?

Hi there, I'd like to include an image of Rosalind Franklin on the DNA page but can't use this one since this is a copyrighted picture. Are any editors aware of a free equivalent? Tim Vickers (talk) 19:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I've been pottering about on this page for some time, but as far as I know there are no free images of Rosalind Franklin. Most of the images are snapshots of her anyway, but they all seem to have a known provenance, making them automatically copyright I believe? We don't even have an image of the famous Photo 51 on this page due to copyright nonsense, though it has it's own article, so at least there is an image of it on Wikipedia. I even went so far as to include a free electronmicrograph of TMV just so we would have some images here at all. Sorry I can't be more help. User:Nitramrekcap may know a great deal more about this than I do. I used to have his email address, I can see if I can find it for you if you like. All the best. Alun (talk) 17:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
It would be great to find one, any help would be appreciated. Tim Vickers (talk) 23:10, 28 November 2007 (UTC)