Talk:Rosalind Franklin/Archive 8

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When was Franklin recruited for KCL by Randall?

Can anyone throw any light on the critical comment made by Horace Freeland Judson in his review of Matt Ridley's biography of Francis Crick, as the apparent error has now been repeated in the new paperback version? Does Ridley get the recruitment date by Randall wrong by several months?

Charles Coulson of King's college was well aware of Frankin's coal work and told Randall of her experience doing x-ray diffraction of amorphous, non crystalline substances like Randall wanted to study. Most diffaction experts were only familiar with crystalline work which was easier to interpret. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

""Ridley also fails to reach the origins of the historic conflict between the other scientists working for the structure, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins at King’s College London. Wilkins had been getting important new X-ray-diffraction patterns from DNA. Franklin, an X-ray crystallographer, was recruited in the spring of 1950 (not in December, as Ridley writes)."

she was switched to DNA in a letter by Randall in December, but hired earlier to work on lipids and proteins in solution. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

(NATURE|Vol 443|26 October 2006) Recruited in the spring of 1950 or in the December? See pp 51!

91.110.226.167 (talk)NITRAMREKCAP91.110.226.167 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 20:56, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Assuming that June 1950 counts as Spring rather than Summer, the reference in the article (22) taken from Maddox appears to be correct: "In 1950 she sought work in England[21] and in June 1950 she was appointed to a position at King's College London.[22]" Brenda Maddox, page 111. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.110.226.167 (talk) 21:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Horace Freeland Judson goes onto say: "She joined the lab in January 1951, and Ridley makes no mention of a meeting she had then with the physicist Alexander Stokes and a graduate student, Raymond Gosling, at which John Randall, the lab’s director, gave her a supply of the best DNA they had and appointed Gosling her assistant. Crucially, Wilkins was away on vacation. Franklin had every reason to think the DNA was exclusively hers. When Wilkins returned and expected to collaborate with her, she shut him out. He grumbled about her to Crick and Watson, and in February 1953 he notoriously showed Watson an X-ray diagram she had obtained — which they interpreted as she had failed to do." Anyone want to comment? (NATURE|Vol 443|26 October 2006)

91.108.18.219 (talk)nitramrekcap91.108.18.219 (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 21:53, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Well Martin, appointed and recruited are two different things are they not? Her recruitment may have been in the spring, but it may have taken a month or two to confirm her appointment. It hardly amounts to a hill of beans though. Alun (talk) 07:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Quite right, Alun - but it was of sufficient importance for HFJ to comment on in his review; I always think a true scientific biography should have references, just like those in your REF article. The ommission of the Franklin/Gosling/Randall/Stokes meeting IS 'a MOUNTAIN of beans'!

MP

91.110.151.179 (talk) 13:07, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

REINSTATEMENT OF WORDS DELETED (IN BOLD) FROM RECOGNITION SECTION

"The wording on the DNA sculpture (which was donated by James Watson) outside Clare College's Thirkill Court, Cambridge, England is:

On the base:

"These strands unravel during cell reproduction. Genes are encoded in the sequence of bases."

"The double helix model was supported by the work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins."

On the helices:

"The structure of DNA was discovered in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson while Watson lived here at Clare."

"The molecule of DNA has two helical strands that are linked by base pairs Adenine - Thymine or Guanine - Cytosine."

The aluminium sculpture stands fifteen feet high. It took a pair of technicians 1 fortnight (2 weeks) to build it. For the artist responsible it was an opportunity to create a monument that brings together the themes of science and nature; Charles Jencks, Sculptor said "It embraces the trees, you can sit on it and the ground grows up and it twists out of the ground. So it's truly interacting with living things like the turf, and that idea was behind it and I think it does celebrate life and DNA".

I would suggest the fact that James Watson himself donated the sculpture to Clare College (and no doubt had the last word on the text which appears on it) is very important and in the absence of an image, the description tells you something about the sculpture itself? Anyone looking at the new sculpture will realise that the discovery of the structure of DNA was a product of both the efforts of staff from Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge and King's College, London's laboratory.

I cannot imagine that either Franklin or Wilkins would be unhappy with the phrase:"The double helix model was supported by the work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins." but that Sir John Randall felt he had good cause to be unhappy with the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge!

Bob Olby's new biography of Francis Crick due in December 2008

Francis Crick: A Biography by Robert Olby; Hardback - ISBN 9780879697983; ? 2008; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; Price: $TBA

"This engrossing biography by one of molecular biology' s foremost scholars reveals the remarkable evolution of Francis Crick' s scientific career and the shaping of his personality. From unpromising beginnings, he became a vital contributor to a remarkably creative period in science. Olby chronicles Crick' s life from his early studies in biophysics, to the discovery of the structure of DNA, to his later work in neuroscience and the nature of consciousness. This account is woven together with insights into his personal life gained through access to Crick' s papers, family, and friends. Robert Olby's book is a richly detailed portrait of one of the great scientists of our time."

Contents d Time Line Introduction 1. "You're a Dog If You Haven't Got A Nobel Prize" 2. A Difficult Act to Follow 3. From the Provinces to the Big City 4. War Work for the Royal Navy 5. Biology at the Strangeways 6. Helical Molecules at the Cavendish Laboratory 7. The DNA Fiasco 8. Two Pitchmen in Search of A Helix 9. A Most Important Discovery 10. Publishing the Model 11. Employed by the John Wayne of Crystallography 12. The Genetic Code 13. Preaching the Central Dogma 14. Crick as Experimentalist 15. Speaking out on Controversial Subjects 16. Biological Complexity 17. Leaving the ' Old Country' 18. Taking the Plunge: Neuroscience 19. From the Searchlight to the Soul 20. Eighty-eight Years Biographical Index Subject Index

No doubt whatever Professor Olby has to say about Rosalind Franklin will be used to further improve this article; suffice it to say if she had sought Crick's advice, he would have helped her!

I asked Crick when he had interpreted her data to mean antiparallel why he did not communicate with REF directly as he now had something concrete to share and was told that he could not because he was a friend of Wilkins. Lynne elkin (talk) 00:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

91.108.6.32 (talk) 17:12, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Why delete the second sentence?

The wording on the new DNA sculpture in Clare College's Thirkill Court includes the words: "The double helix model was supported by the work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins." The sculpture was donated to Clare College by James Watson of Watson and Francis Crick.

What possible justification is there for deleting the very short second sentence please? nitramrekcap 91.110.192.94 (talk) 09:07, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

The wording on the DNA sculpture in Clare College's Thirkill Court includes the words: "The double helix model was supported by the work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins";the sculpture was donated to Clare College by James Watson of Watson and Francis Crick. nitramrekcap 91.110.198.120 (talk) 18:15, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Were I to venture a guess, it looks OR-ish, as if trying to say that Watson felt guilty or something. Otherwise you might want to ask Alun on his/her talk page. Personally I think there's going to be a lot of recognition of RF's work, and every one isn't really needed. I think in-text versions discussing her work on DNA, more specifically how her work tended to be glossed over (i.e. Watson or Crick making a speech or updating The Double Helix or whatever) are best choices. I don't know about stuff like statues. Also, per WP:PROVEIT, the uncited text can be removed at will; surely any reference that mentions the statue will mention that Watson donated it, and why the dedication says what it does? WLU (talk) 19:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

David Harker

No obvious connection with REF, but can anyone throw any light on this phrase please: "the John Wayne of crystallography was the description given by Luzzati+ of David Harker, the American X-ray crystallographer"?

VL worked in Harker's lab along with Crick and David Sayre at Brooklyn Polytech which Crick described to Anne Sayre as being banished to Brooklyn. VL tends to get emotional and described Crick to me ( my words now) as if Crick walked on water. We had quite an argument about whether Crick would need at least some data to figure out DNA ( my point of view) whereas VL thought Crick was so brilliant he would not have needed any. I was both upset and amused because I remembered Wilkins telling me how the only thing worse than REF arguing ( MW liked to discuss not argue!) was VL visiting REF with both of them arguing. So it it does not surprise me VL would use phrases like the JW of C... By the way, coming from Brooklyn myself, i tried not to take offense at his view of Brooklyn, and got on very well with Crick. Crick was the most impressive man I have ever met, narrowly beating out Roman Vishniac. Lynne elkin (talk) 00:39, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

One wonders how Rosalind Franklin can best be described in the same way?

+Vittorio Luzzati, a crystallographer at the Centre for Molecular Genetics in Gif-sur-Yvette near Paris, France nitramrekcap 91.110.198.120 (talk) 17:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Vittorio Luzzati

The article makes no reference to her close friend VITTORIO LUZZATI, Alun - do please add him in!

he was her close friend in Paris,and took most of the picture of her. REF had closer friends like Mair Livingston, Anne Piper and Anne Sayre. He is important in illustrating REf's comfort with friendships with couples like the Luzzatis and the Cricks. Theer is no room for so much detial in an article. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:50, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

"Laboratoire central des services chimiques de l'État

After the war ended Franklin accepted an offer to work in Paris with Jacques Mering.[5] She learned x-ray diffraction techniques during her three years at the Laboratoire central des services chimiques de l'État.[6] She seemed to have been very happy there[7] and earned an international reputation based on her published research on the structure of coal.[8] In 1950 she sought work in England[9] and in June 1950 she was appointed to a position at King's College London.[10]" nitramrekcap 18:59, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Please stop SHOUTING in your titles, it's unnecessary. Based on my reading of Maddox's book, Luzzati was a pretty big part of her life. Unfortunately I've returned it to the library, so I can't really contribute. Nitreamekap, is there a reason you can't add, or suggest an addition yourself? I'm not being sarcastic, sometimes the page is protected or there's an arb/ANI posting I'm not aware of. More specifically, what do you think should be said about her relationship to Luzzati? Unfortunately there's no wikipedia article about him to link to. WLU (talk) 19:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Sorry about the caps. WLU! I have asked John Schmidt to create a new Vittorio Luzzati page asap!! Hopefully Alun/Wobble will check Brenda Maddox's book and add Luzzati into the article? Nitramrekcap (talk) 19:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Is he notable enough for his own article? I'm not saying he's not, I am just saying that I don't know if he is. I only ask because a google search of his name produces many results that are mainly concerned with his association with Rosalind Franklin, and not about him or his work, of course there are also results to scientific papers published by him, but the publication of scientific papers is not enough for notability, all academics publish scientific papers. Notability is most important, and I don't think his friendship makes him notable enough to have his own article. On the other hand there is no reason why we should not mention him in this article, they were clearly close friends for a long time, but there are others who probably should also be mentioned as well, for example Anne Sayre is only mentioned in the citations, but she's a notable person and was a friend of Franklin's. What makes it so imperative to mention Luzzati specifically? Should we have a "personal life" section where we can give some details of hobbies, friendships etc? Alun (talk) 12:25, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Alun, have you read the late Maurice Wilkins's autobiography yet? If not, you should do! There are at least two sides to every argument, and all of us need to have a more balanced approach to what Wilkins himself calls "the tensions, accusations, confusions, and controversies that have attended the telling and retelling of the DNA story" (preface, page x); I trust you agree on today of all days? I will continue working on the Wilkins article and leave Franklin to you, but hopefully Lynne Elkins will do REF 'justice' when her new biography is published in the future.

  • Wilkins, Maurice, "The Third Man of The Double Helix", OUP 2003; ISBN: 978-0-19-280667-3.

Nitramrekcap (talk) 18:12, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I got most of my sense of balance interviewing Gosling and others at King's. Wilkiins was not a good source about REF. She similarity would not have been a good source about him. They hated each other. Lynne elkin (talk) 02:50, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

"What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery"

As there is no article to link to, I have removed the [[ ]] around this book's title, Alun.

Nitramrekcap (talk) 20:38, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Citation required?

A sculpture of DNA in Clare College includes the words: "The double helix model was supported by the work of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins"[citation needed]

I can personally vouch for the wording as I took a note of them a long time ago; what I object to is the way the reference to this sculpture (donated by James Watson) has been reduced to so few words as to make this 'posthumous recognition' reference meaningless, in my opinion.

But if someone really wants a "citation" (sic) for the DNA sculpture, try the following URL's:

www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_ely/displayarticle.asp?id=160947 Published: 10/11/2005

www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_cambridge/displayarticle.asp?id=268669 Published: 09/11/2005

www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_news_cambridge/displayarticle.asp?id=263199 Published: 30/09/2005

of which the third one ("WORKMEN installing a sculpture at a Cambridge college had a lucky escape when it exploded, causing panic in the city") is the funniest! Over to you Alun Nitramrekcap (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 21:22, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Nobel Foundation

The following may be of interest regarding the award of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, following the recent creation of the Rosalind Franklin Society in the U.S.A.:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1962/

§ 4. A prize amount may be equally divided between two works, each of which is considered to merit a prize. If a work that is being rewarded has been produced by two or three persons, the prize shall be awarded to them jointly. In no case may a prize amount be divided between more than three persons. Work produced by a person since deceased shall not be considered for an award. If, however, a prizewinner dies before he has received the prize, then the prize may be presented. Each prize-awarding body shall be competent to decide whether the prize it is entitled to award may be conferred upon an institution or association.

§ 10. No appeals may be made against the decision of a prize-awarding body with regard to the award of a prize. Proposals received for the award of a prize, and investigations and opinions concerning the award of a prize, may not be divulged. Should divergent opinions have been expressed in connection with the decision of a prize-awarding body concerning the award of a prize, this may not be included in the record or otherwise divulged. A prize-awarding body may, however, after due consideration in each individual case, permit access to material which formed the basis for the evaluation and decision concerning a prize, for purposes of research in intellectual history. Such permission may not, however, be granted until at least 50 years have elapsed after the date on which the decision in question was made.

Nitramrekcap (talk) 15:39, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Correction to birthplace

To quote from Sir Aaron Klug’s Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on Rosalind Franklin:

‘Franklin, Rosalind Elsie, (1920-1958), crystallographer, was born at Chepstow Villas, Notting Hill, London, on 25 July 1920, the elder daughter and second of the family of five children of Ellis Arthur Franklin (1894-1964), merchant banker of London, and his wife, Muriel Frances Waley….’).

Nitramrekcap (talk) 19:41, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Rosalind Franklin

  • Aaron Klug: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on R.E. Franklin, OUP, Matthew H.C.G. Ed., first published Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2007, 1840 words; ISBN: 019861411X

has been reinstated as Klug was obviously such a close friend and colleague of R.E. Franklin; this 2004 article needs to be used for her Wikipedia profile, as it is an important reference.

It is available on-line: http://www.oxforddnb.com/ for paid subscriber/institution (library) free access; was featured "Life of the Day" on 16th April 2008, 50th anniversary of her death.

Nitramrekcap (talk) 17:45, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Apparent ERROR on her birthplace?

Can anyone validate the following: "GRO Register of Births: SEP 1920 1a 250 KENSINGTON - Rosalind E. Franklin, mmn = Waley" = as both Klug and Maddox say it was in Notting Hill? The confusion may have arisen because of the 'Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea' perhaps!

Brenda Maddox on page 13 refers to "the Western end of Bayswater, now fashionable as Notting Hill."

Nitramrekcap (talk) 17:50, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Both these facts are consistent. Notting Hill is part of the registration district of Kensington. For validation of the Birth entry - see http://www.freebmd.org.uk I have no problem with adjusting the birthplace to become Notting Hill and keeping the existing GRO reference, as proof. Ian Cairns (talk) 14:10, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Ian, thanks for making the change! It is a change to get some agreement on this article; I have tried the above URL but without success (it seems dreadfully complicated!) so does the Birth Entry give the precise address where she was born as Klug's "Chepstow Villas, Notting Hill" is not consistent with what little Brenda Maddox has to say? I have asked Professor Robert Olby for his version from his biographical article - but it would be nice to get it 100% right for Franklin's next biographer, Lynne Elkin! [Not much doubt over exactly where she died in 1958.]

Martin Nitramrekcap (talk) 11:32, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Possible link to Rosalind Franklin section on “Himetop – The History of medicine topographical database”

I suggest that somebody, interested in this page, could insert an external link to the following page describing, with pictures, some Rosalind Franklin’s memories: http://himetop.wikidot.com/rosalind-franklin

I don’t do it myself because I’m also an Administrator of this site (Himetop) and it could be a violation of the Wikipedia Conflict of Interest policy. Thanks for your attention.

Luca Borghi (talk) 20:05, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

To Do List

What is the point of all this (below) at the top of the Discussion page? IF - as I suspect it serves no useful purpose - other than an aide memoire - surely it should be DELETED please?

"List of improvements (please add to this list be specific)

Add more information about her personal life. more detail on her time working on coal and graphite. More detail about whether she had the impression from Randall that she and Gosling alone would be working on the x-ray diffraction of DNA, this was certainly Wilkins's impression and that of Klug, and may have contributed to her perception of interference from Wilkins. Need to add more information about what Crick and Watson knew of Franklin's work (and where they got it) in winter of '52/'53. Include more information from the letters to Science in 1968."

The May 1950 letter I cited from Randall, which Wilkins told me he did not know about till Randall died and he went through his papers, clearly reassigned DNA to REF.

Also, Crick and Watson got the entire backbone of DNA from a combination of photo 51 and from Crick's correctly interpreting the space group & other things from REF's section of the MRC report. Lynne elkin (talk) 00:48, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

"IHS"

erratum

"Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 Notting Hill, London – 16 April 1958 Chelsea, London) was an English biophysicist and X-ray 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 were an important influence on Crick and Watson's 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA.[1] When her work was published it also presented critical evidence in support of their hypothesis.[2] Later she led pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses. She died in 1958 of complications arising from cancer of the ovary."

Not sure that the word 'important' needs to be repeated? I hesitate to change it as my changes (for the better) just get reverted! Dare I still suggest that 'important' is still a matter of someone's personal opinion and not fact? The same could also be said of 'critical' in "critical evidence" perhaps? In advertising circles, this was known as using 'weasel words'! Nitramrekcap (talk) 15:55, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Not if they are used by reliable sources. We cite reliable sources in the article, even Watson has stated that Franklin's contribution was important and so has Wilkins. Important in scientific terms is not a matter of personal opinion, an important contribution is one that had a profound effect on a theory, and it was Waton himself who said that seeing Franklin's photograph 51 convinced him that DNA was absolutely a helix. The lead is a summary of the article, it's claims are verified in the article. Important in not a weasel word. Weasel words include things such as some people think or many experts state or a majority believe etc. They are unsupported claims by an unmentioned third party. Important is just an adjective, if her contributions were not important then why did Watson claim they were? As for critical, I don't care if the word is used or not, it is hardly a significant word, it is critical in the sense that the x-ray pictures published at the same time as the Crick-Watson theory strongly supported the theory, but it's inclusion in the article is neither here nor there, personally I think it's a red herring to think that the removal of this word will significantly improve the article, but if it makes you so happy then feel free. Alun (talk) 17:02, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
The claim of critical evidence was originally included by User:Dudewheresmywallet in February 2007, I don't have a problem with its removal.[1] Alun (talk) 17:10, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

[[2]]

Alun, try clicking on the magnifying glass for larger size; I do agree with the statement! Nitramrekcap (talk) 17:16, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Lynne Elkin's improvements to the article made yesterday

I think Lynne has made some very useful changes and additions to the REF article; I would hope that anyone who disagrees with any of them will with good reason discuss them here before deleting/reverting? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nitramrekcap (talkcontribs)

Thank you. I appreciate that suggestion. It took a week out of my own writing schedule to do this and will be glad to support anything I said with anyone. You can contact me directly at <lynne_elkin@yahoo.com> to give me a heads up as i will not be checking WIKI that often. I did however take the time to stick my opinions in the middle of a lot of the discussion, if you all care to look for it. Lynne elkin (talk) 01:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Lynne, you have turned what was already a good article into an excellent one indeed! Martin 91.110.231.2 (talk) 15:59, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

King's College - 1950 / 1951

Note that according to the source, she was appointed to the job in 1950 ... but requested a delay until the next year (1951). Hence the 1950 appointment ... and the 1951 beginning are correct. Proofreader77 (talk) 05:52, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Introduction

"While Franklin contribution was acknowledged at the time of the publication of the discovery of the structure of DNA, the publication Watson's personal account in The Double Helix, some suggested that her initial attribution was insufficient.[1] An early attempt along these lines was Robert Olby’s "The Path to the Double Helix," supplied information about original source materials for those that followed.[2]"

This has been deleted from the Introduction and should be re-introduced in the article's main body.

Nitramrekcap (talk) 07:42, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Herbert Samuel

"Her uncle was Herbert Samuel". As far as I know he was her father's uncle. Avihu (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Material deleted from the Introductory paragragh

This material badly needs to be edited and then incorporated into the main body of the article:

Franklin is still best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA. Her data, according to Francis Crick, was "the data we actually used"[3] to formulate Crick and Watson's 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA.[4] Furthermore, unpublished drafts of her papers (written as she was arranging to leave the unsupportive research situation at King's College London) show that she had indeed determined the overall B-form of the DNA helix. However, her work was published third, in the series of three DNA Nature articles, led by the paper of Watson and Crick which only vaguely acknowledged her evidence in support of their hypothesis.[5] The possibility that Franklin played a major role was not revealed until Watson wrote his personal account, The Double Helix,[6] in 1968 which subsequently inspired several people to investigate DNA history and Franklin's contribution. The first, Robert Olby's "The Path to the Double Helix", supplied information about original source materials for those that followed.[7] After finishing her portion of the DNA work, Franklin led pioneering work on the tobacco mosaic and polio viruses.

91.110.190.182 (talk) 13:09, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I have restored the removed text. It is common in a bio for a scientist (see James D. Watson for one example) for a fair bit of detail on scientific work to be in the lead. In general I would agree with your approach of removing an inappropriate paragraph and placing it here, but in this case the para has no problem – it's just that the article might be somewhat better if most of the para were incorporated in the article (I do not want to comment on that at the moment). Per WP:Every edit must stand on its own feet I do not think the removal is helpful in this case. Johnuniq (talk) 02:14, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

This is meant to be taken seriously!

http://wellcomelibrary.blogspot.com/2010/07/dark-lady-of-dna.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.110.168.253 (talk) 08:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I am interested to read that Watson and Crick published Photo 51 in their 1953 paper; they didn't of course! Also, they gave a quite full acknowledgement of Franklin's contribution in their 1954 PRS paper,submitted in August 1953. (I am surprised how careless people are about scientific facts.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.110.139.138 (talk) 18:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Illness

There is an unsubstantiated and vague claim of a contribution from x-ray radiation to her ovarian cancer. I know of no link between the two (leukemia, lymphoma, and late (decades later) sarcomas being more closely related to ionizing radiation exposure). I have asked for further citation for this statement. Felgerkarb (talk) 20:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Some details

I have deleted what I posted here on Dec 27, because it is redundant now, but the response of another editor follows

I don't want to take the time at the moment to digest everything you have said (it's probably better to focus on one issue at a time), however some quick thoughts follow.
(1) looks good (although your proposed wording is not clear). Mention the reason in your edit summary (e.g. "need X-ray to distinguish from the experts in diffraction optics").
(2) would normally follow the wording in the source (does it say "recruited"?). The "Irish communist, known for promoting women crystallographers" looks very strange. Does a source make that claim? If not, it should be removed (and perhaps should be removed unless there is a source which specifically claims that Bernal probably recruited Franklin because she was female since he was known to promote women crystallographers.
(3) looks problematic, and should be resolved by investigating what sources actually say. I do not know, but frankly sexism is extremely likely to have been prevalent in most male-dominated endeavors of that period (sexism does not necessarily involve clumsy fondling or slurs). If only one source makes the claim, an evaluation (see WP:DUE) of how relevant the claim is to the life of Franklin could be attempted (by discussion on this talk page).
By the way, it's four tildes to add a signature. Johnuniq (talk) 23:55, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I have deleted what I posted here on Dec 28, because it is redundant now, but the response of another editor follows

I am commenting simply to let you know what you will be up against (I have no personal investment in this issue, and acknowledge that while it is entirely possible that Franklin was held back by sexism, it is also entirely possible that those writing about what happened 60 years ago have got overly enthusiastic and have misapplied modern interpretations and assumptions to historical events). Your comments about what happened with other female scientists will not be accepted here because there is a well-established WP:OTHERSTUFF outlook. That link goes to a page concerned with the discussion of whether a particular article should be deleted (people often say that article X should not be deleted because article Y is worse, and it has not been deleted). The general principle is that arguments about Y do not apply to X (for example, female scientist Y might have been in a particularly enlightened section, and her situation may not have been typical; X might have had an entirely different experience). Also, people here become very sensitive when someone mentions their personal connections: hundreds of cranks post nonsense on Wikipedia each week because they "know" it is true (that's particularly difficult when dealing with biographies of living people: an editor will say they saw some person do something bad, so that event must be in the article). The only way to argue the case here is to stick to what reliable sources say, bearing in mind that WP:NPOV requires balance so we don't excitedly focus on one source when others paint a different picture. Other relevant points are: the issue of whether a college was generally sexist is not relevant in an article on Franklin (unless very reliable sources say otherwise), and "controversy" sections are not welcomed (due material should be integrated into appropriate sections on the subject). I also commented at WT:NPOV tutorial#How do I start an NPOV discussion?. Johnuniq (talk) 03:44, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Some suggested revisions

I have deleted what I posted here on Dec 29, because it is redundant now, but the response of another editor follows

The main reason I am watching this article is so I can remove silly vandalism (often from schools), as I think Franklin had a sufficiently raw deal in life without putting up with nonsense in this article. I mention that to make clear that I have no particular knowledge of the subject, and am just giving you my general opinions. I am going to a fair bit of trouble with this because it is clear that you are quickly learning Wikipedia's procedures, and are likely to be a very helpful editor.
Re (1): See lead: the text up to "Contents" is the "lead in" to the article and should provide a summary of key points from the article. Accordingly, I think your proposed single paragraph to replace the lead is too brief. In general, the "our" in "to our knowledge" is not good style here (I don't have a precise reference for this, and you should not try to master the complex style guide, but you will see the idea at WP:MOS in the discussion about pronouns in the Grammar section).
Re (2): I think you intend adding three subheadings. The style here is generally to not mention the subject in a heading because it is redundant (omit "Franklin"), and you would not put a link or acronym in a heading (they would go in the following text). However, unless you think significantly more material is available (and WP:DUE), the proposed sections are too short, so the headings should be omitted. If it is true (and verifiable) that Franklin did not initially receive a degree because "women were not entitled to degrees ... at the time", you should probably not obfuscate that point by referring to "outdated regulations". It does not particularly worry me, but some other editors would be likely to imagine a cover up was occurring. The term "messier" is probably too informal (unless it is a term of art), and would be changed to something like "more complex" by other editors. I have a few too many things to do at the moment to digest the proposed changes, but you should probably just start editing the article at this stage (although one needs a thick skin and calm temperament for that, because edits are often reverted or corrupted by others).
Re the sexism claims: It's a bad time of the year to expect editors who may be interested in this article to notice this page, and I would be inclined to allow at least a week for further comments. However, if a good-faith attempt to find the sexism claims in the source fails, the text can be drastically altered (in particular, "sexism" could be removed from the heading). I don't think you are using WP:OTHERSTUFF correctly: the issue here is simply that some editor has inserted general claims about sexism, and if no highly reliable source (a) verifies those claims, and (b) links those claims to Franklin, then the claims should be removed (the "and" is required because some editors try to build a case by asserting fact A and fact B, to draw some conclusion, which is WP:SYNTH – original research by synthesis). Johnuniq (talk) 01:54, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
After saving this comment, I'll save a couple of changes to the section on sexism. I did a search using various term combinations, and found reference to sexism of course, but not in Maddox's work. Maddox's work does show up in relation to various search terms, but I got no returns indicating Maddox explicitly addressed this issue. Interpretations of her book are another thing, but these are not to be made within Wikipedia. Rather, they are to be cited within Wikipedia - there is a difference. Nevertheless, there are published claims of sexism, which I have cited, along with one response to such claims. Regards Wotnow (talk) 04:40, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Suggested revisions, draft 2.1

I have deleted what I posted here on January 1, because it is superceded by what follows.

Suggested revisions, draft 2.2

1. Replace present Introduction by:

Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was a British biophysicist who was trained as a chemist and specialized in X-ray crystallography. She made important contributions to the scientific understanding of the molecular structures of coal and graphite and, using X-ray diffraction, DNA and viruses. The DNA work achieved the most fame. She died at the age of 37 from complications arising from ovarian cancer. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules play essential roles in cell metabolism and genetics. An X-ray diffraction experiment directs a beam of X-rays through a sample of a substance onto a screen. A pattern of spots is formed. This is recorded, and used to calculate the arrangement of atoms in the sample. Franklin's major work, in the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit at King's College, London, used her expertize in dealing with amorphous materials. She recorded a photograph that Maurice Wilkins, the Assistant Director, showed to James Watson and Francis Crick, who realized that it supported the idea of a double helix structure for DNA. Watson, from Harvard, was a visiting fellow at Cambridge, in the same laboratory as Crick. Wilkins, Crick and Watson were awarded a Nobel prize jointly, some years later, after Franklin's death. Hostility between Franklin and her colleagues is a matter of record. There has been extensive comment that her work did not bring adequate recognition when she did it, in biographical works[8][9][10] and other publications. Some claim this was due to prejudice. The arguments have focussed on details that include the restriction of the Senior Common Room at King's College to men, cultural differences between a rich, cosmopolitan sophisticate and boisterous British ex-sevicemen ("macho rowdies")[11] and Watson's reference to Franklin as "Rosie" and his comments on her appearance in his book The double helix, which he wrote on his return to Harvard from Cambridge. Several major institutions and awards have been named in Franklin's memory.

2. The two final paragraphs of Background, and the section headed British Coal Utilisation Research Association have been replaced by a new section that contains additional material. It states facts which are mentioned in the National Library of Medicine web page [http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/KR/Views/Exhibit/narrative/coal.html], in the personal reminiscence web site of Franklin's friend Kiran Tabu Kiwari [http://kiranbabutiwari.blogspot.com/2009/05/light-on-dark-lady-rosalind-franklin.html] and in Maddox' book.Michael P. Barnett (talk) 16:44, 3 January 2011 (UTC)Michael P. Barnett (talk) 19:42, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Will adding to Franklin's scientific record be waste of time?

I thought I posted, last night, how I planned to go about making some revisions, in small stages, to facilitate their undoing if people objected, but I assume I forgot to save page.

Anyhow, I have an immediate question that is non-contentious in real world but fraught with wikiped-illegalities and wiki-immoralities. I have done a thorough search of bibliographic databases to compile list of Franklin's publications on work done at Cambridge, BCURA and CNRS. It is all on coal, carbon and graphite. There are 15 items. Sayre's book states there are 5. The number 5 is WP:verifiable. A wiki-legalist has explained that it is not WP:OR to perform the literature search, no matter how long or arduous this is. But to count the number of papers IS unacceptable violation of WP:NOR, and mentioning the use of bibliographic databases is CRUFT. (See Wikipedia talk:No original research#Do OR rules allow counting or arithmetic? ). So, do I let the article contain a statement that is RealWord:incorrect but WP:verifiable, or do I make a statement, that contributes positively to Franklin's image, and find it deleted, thereby having wasted the time spent putting it in with, as the alternative, spending still more time in wiki-wrangling which I will lose. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 18:16, 12 January 2011 (UTC) Michael P. Barnett (talk) 00:23, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't have time to look through the article atm. Please provide a brief extract that I can search for (existing text which has a problem). I agree with the advice you mention: we do not count the number of papers and say "subject published X papers". However, if there is good reason to think something in the article is incorrect, it can be reworded to avoid the problem of stating information that we think is wrong. To do that requires care and judgment, and I'm not sure what suitable (verifiable) information could be substituted. Per WP:NOTDIRECTORY it is customary to not provide exhaustive lists, but some publications could be listed. Johnuniq (talk) 04:01, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Each change and insertion in the section Cambridge, Kingston, Paris is either a direct quote (shown by explicit quote marks) or trivial paraphrase of a single sentence, or a condensation of a longer passage that does change the order of constituent ideas. In principle, I could expand to provide line numbers in the cited material for each phrase, but life is too short. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 15:51, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Franklin's coal and graphite bibliography

Although this is inappropriate for Article, exploration of these papers could provide WK:acceptable quotes, though WP:acceptability is unlikely for comments based on perceptions of development of scientific sophistication (references to valence theory in later papers) not necessarily shown later, comparison of content, and extent of acknowledgements.

R.E. Franklin, A study of the fine structure of carbonaceous solids by measurements of true and apparent densities.2. Carbonized coals. Transactions of the Faraday Society, 45 (7) 668-682, 1949. (citation count 49)

R.E. Franklin, A study of the fine structure of carbonaceous solids by measurements of true and apparent densities. 1. Coals, Transactions of the Faraday Society, 45 (3) 274--286, 1949. (citation count 88)

R.E. Franklin, Note sur la structure colloidale des houilles carbonisees, Bulletin de la societe chimique de France, 16 (1,2) D53--D54, 1949. (citation count 0)

R.E. Franklin, On the structure of carbon", Journal de Chimie Physique et de Physico-Chimie Biologique, 47 (5,6) 573--575, 1950. (citation count 16)

R.E. Franklin, A rapid approximate method for correcting the low-angle scattering measurements for the influence of the finite height of the X-ray beam, Acta Crystallographica 3 (2) 158--159, 1950. (citation count 15)

R.E. Franklin, The interpretation of diffuse X-ray diagrams of carbon, Acta Crystallographica 3 (2) 107--121, 1950. (citation count 245) (cites Moffitt)

R.E. Franklin, Influence of the bonding electrons on the scattering of X-rays by carbon, Nature 165 (4185) 71--72, 1950. (citation count 11)

R.E. Franklin, Les carbones graphitisables et non-graphitisables, Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences, 232 (3) 232--234, 1951. (Presented by G. Rimbaud, session of 3rd January, 1951. (citation count 7)

R.E. Franklin, The structure of graphitic carbons, Acta Crystallographica, 4 (3) 253-261, 1951. (citation count 398)

G.E. Bacon and R.E. Franklin, The alpha dimension of graphite, Acta Crystallographica, 4 (6) 561--562, 1951. (citation count 8)

R.E. Franklin, Crystallite growth in graphitizing and non-graphitizing carbons, Proceedings of the Royal Society, A 209 (1097) 196-218 , 1951. (citation count 513)

R.E. Franklin, Graphitizing and non-graphitizing carbons, their formation, structure and properties, Angewandte Chemie, 65 (13) 353--353, 1953. (citation count 0)

R.E. Franklin, The role of water in the structure of graphitic acid, Journal de Chimie Physiqe et de Physico-Chimie Biologique, 50, C26, 1953.

R.E. Franklin and M. Mering, La structure de l'acide graphitique, Acta Crystallographica, 7 (10) 661--661, 1954. (citation count 0) (5 lines)

R.E. Franklin, Graphitizing and nongraphitizing carbon compounds. Formation, structure and characteristics, Brenstoff-Chemie, 34, 359--361, 1953. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael P. Barnett (talkcontribs) 22:18, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it is reasonable and appropriate to have a 'published works' section in a biographic article, as many do. The works of a person can quite literallly constitute a large component of their life, since as you would know, an article or book is but the end result of many hours, months or years of effort. This makes it in no way inappropriate or insignificant. I've been culling my library for over a year now, and am almost at an end. Many people have benefited from books and journals I've sold or given away (although most photocopied articles and book chapters went into the bin, sometimes after being cited in Wikipedia, that itself accounting for less than 5 % of the material). To the beneficiaries, it's but a fortuitous and effortless windfall, without the months and indeed years tracking down contemporary and out-of-print material from around the world and synthesising it in various ways, or the financial effort this entailed. So publications sections say something significant in a biography, without even needing elaboration. They do the prose equivalent of a picture: they paint a thousand words in but a list. Wotnow (talk) 20:55, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Some problems with the present lede

1. The use of 5 descriptors is unusual, in WP and in RL (real world). I have tried to find WP guidelines on number of descriptors without success. Einstein is described by just one. I have looked at articles about many scientists of considerable eminence who contributed to multiple fields, and the norm seems to be 2. The description "biophysicist, specializing in X-ray crystallography" is sufficient. "Biophysicist, trained as a chemist, and specializing in X-ray crystallography" is not excessive. But the inclusion of physicist and biologist is redundant, because Franklin made no contribution to physics or biology beyond the work covered by biophysics and X-ray crystallography. The DNA work impacted many fields of science, but so did the Schrodinger equation.

2. "critical" -- why not "major" ?

3. "fine" -- can anyone provide example of qualification of molecular structure as "fine". The term "fine structure" IS used, but it applies to spectra.

4. Again, "DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite" seems to be pushing it -- "molecular basis of the living cell, and forms of carbon" takes more space but I think gives more impact, particularly to reader who does not yet know what DNA (and less likely RNA).

5. "still best known" -- why "still" -- what else is she likely to become known for?

6. "unsupportive research situation" -- what does this mean? It sets an ugly tone and it is contentious. If the purpose of the article is an NPOV account of Franklin's life, then this needs rewriting. The next sentence, "However, ... published third" is decidedly argumentative. And so is the rest. This is not NPOV.

Absent reasoned argument, I will replace the present lede with the lede suggested above =='''Suggested revisions, draft 2.2'''==

Some problems with "Sexism at King's College"

1. The title is NPOV. If the body of the section concedes that the occurrence of sexism has been WP verifiably disputed, the title of the section should be changed -- e.g. "Franklin's unhappiness at King's College".

2. Claims of sexism regarding the research community at King's College : which community does this refer to -- the entirety of King's College, that includes the Schools of Theology, Arts, Sciences, Law and Engineering, and the associated teaching hospitals, or just the School of Science, or just the Department of Physics, or the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, or the room in which Franklin worked? None of the article seems to distinguish the MRC Unit from the Physics Department. Either restrict to the MRC unit -- and leave out the SRC, or include the SRC and consider the ENTIRETY of King's.

3. "the number of women in the biophysics department". I have been told categorically that giving the number of items in a list by counting them is WP:OR. Minimally, this sentence should be split. Maybe one sentence stating that one author claims there was sexism. Then another sentence or two that quotes: "There was an unusually large proportion of women, especially in positions of responsibility" (from obit of John Randall in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society -- can anyone suggest a more reliable source?). (I have seen another authoritative article stating Randall was particularly helpful to women scientists, followed by a list). I think if number of women is relevant, then the women should be named Jean Hanson, Honor Fell, Angela Martin, Sylvia Jackson, for a start (Bio Mem FRS -- Jean's obit, p.317)

4. Sentences concerning views and comments of people at Cambridge totally irrelevant to situation at King's.

Enough for now. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 03:37, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I suggest you keep editing, sticking closely to what the sources say (obviously I do not mean "plagiarize"; I mean to keep the meaning conveyed by the sources—although, sometimes it is useful to use the actual key words from a source). If the claims of sexism are insufficiently sourced per WP:DUE, just reword the heading. Avoid putting the name of the subject (Franklin) in a heading, and do not use subjective and unverifiable terms like "unhappiness" which could be seen as dodging the issue. I suggest heading "Treatment at King's College". Re the other points, whether or not there was sexism in some part or all of a college is not really relevant to this person's life. As I understand it, there is at least one reliably sourced claim of sexism, and there is the apparently patronizing "Rosy". It is probably best to baldly state the claims re sexism (using the source's language), and not try to "balance" the section by introducing other material. We at Wikipedia cannot resolve whether or not sexism was rampant at the college (and that is irrelevant anyway), and we cannot resolve how fair the sexism claims are. No one is supporting the sexism claims at the moment, but bear in mind that an editor may appear in a month or two and want to restore embellised claims of sexism. The issue can be debated more if that occurs. Johnuniq (talk) 06:19, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
1. Would you accept "Personal relationships and attitudes at King's College" as the title and, if not, why not?
2, You state "whether or not there was sexism ... is not really relevant". Then mentioning "one reliably sourced claim of sexism" constitutes the introduction of an irrelevancy. Are there no guidelines that discourage this?
3. I do not understand how not trying to balance the discussion of a disputed viewpoint is not counter to NPOV.
4. I think it unwise for me to continue without answers to these questions.
Michael P. Barnett (talk) 21:11, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
My opinion is that "Personal relationships and attitudes at King's College" is too long and cumbersome. By all means, try the heading and we can all see what it looks like. However, a heading should just identify the general area of discussion: Why should the heading precisely list which items follow? What if a new information were added, information that is not quite a relationship or an attitude? Look at some articles for indications of style (of course, that's a bit haphazard because some articles might have inappropriate wording). A very quick look makes me think that James D. Watson#Use of King's College results is a good heading, and plenty of examples of featured articles are at WP:FA.
What is the problem with "Treatment at King's College"? Are you concerned that it implies some problem with the treatment? As a subsection of "Controversies after death" it seems ok to use "Treatment..." to me. I suppose "Work at King's College" or even "At King's College" might do? "Attitudes at King's College"?
Re 2: What I am saying is that this article is about Franklin. It is not about King's College. Therefore, this article should report due information from reliable sources about Franklin, and should not venture into a discussion of whether or not King's College was or was not sexist. It may be appropriate to venture into a broader discussion of the college if a reliable source discussed it at length in connection with Franklin. However, essentially the situation is pretty simple: Franklin was a female scientist in the early 1950s—it would be astonishing if she did not encounter some form of at least mild sexism, so just report the claims using neutral language and move on. Regarding the relevance issue: It is conceivable that a college could generally have viciously sexist people, yet Franklin worked in one section where there was no sexism; or, a college could generally have very enlightened staff, yet Franklin worked in the only section where there was sexism.
Re 3: It would be original research for an editor to report, for example, the experiences of other female scientists at the same college to show that sexism was unlikely. The facts may be reliably sourced, but it is synthesis to connect what happened to other people with what happened to Franklin. If a reliable source has mentioned such issues in connection with Franklin, it would be good to summarize the views from that source. Otherwise, such connections would be relevant in the opinion of the editor (and clearly articles cannot reflect the opinions of all the hundreds of editors who might pass by an article).
I refactored your signature above: If you tweak your comment, you do not have to sign it again. It is best to not perform tweaks after someone has replied, but before any response, an adjustment is fine. Sometimes (in a controversial area), an editor will add a note saying that they made certain changes to their comment, and add a signature. Normally, a signature goes after a space on the last line, but when following a list, put it on a new line.
Johnuniq (talk) 23:52, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I concur that it's best to avoid lengthy section headings. In my opinion, the section heading is quickly and easily solved. After saving this comment, and following on the principle of Ockham's razor, I'll amend the section name to something brief, factual and neutral, while allowing the section to develop in any relevant direction at all. It is a fact that allegations of sexism were made, not only about Kings College, but about the treatment of female scientists of that era. It is also a fact that some of the claims have been refuted (e.g. actual number of female scientists being greater than the two reportedly claimed in Sayre's book). It is further a fact that not all claims have been refuted. And it is also a fact that the whole issue is a matter of ongoing debate within the literature, and will be after we cease to exist. Given all this, a brief section title becomes - I think - self-evident: "Allegations of Sexism". It is brief, factual, neutral, and allows for development of the section in any direction that the verifiable material takes it. See what you think. Wotnow (talk) 01:19, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I have followed Johnuniq's prescription minutely. The section now consists entirely of direct quotes. I could not find an explicit statement using the word "sexism" in Sayre's book, so I extracted the phrases most suggestive of sexism, and gave a reference to someone else who interpreted them as showing sexism. I took out the comment about Randall saying she could not work on TMV because it is irrelevant here. Actually, the passages that have been removed violated all the constraints that Johnuniq set out, repeatedly drawing conclusions from statements by performing WP:OR. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 04:09, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Cheers. We cannot begrudge the desire of people to bring contentious issues into the light. It is important however for such editors to cite verifiable interpretations, rather than utilise Wikipedia as a vehicle for their own interpretations, even if they're sure they're right. The more contentious the issue, the more important it is (within Wikipedia) to cite the explicit rather than interpret the assumed implicit. I addressed a very similar issue regarding published claims, be they agreeable or disagreeable, sustainable or ludicrous, on another talkpage (see comment at bottom of section). That is, the verifiability criterion is not a one-sided affair. Regards Wotnow (talk) 05:25, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Tolerance and reconciliation

Further reading of books by Maddox, Sayre and other material claiming Franklin was wronged provides basis for extending the "Allegations ..." section with quote and counter quote. But I would much rather opt for a toning down of the contentiousness elsewhere in this article (just a few words here and there might be enough) out of respect for people who are dead. We all will be sooner or later -- "The evil men do ... good oft interred ..." Hope I have not broken wiki rules. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 17:52, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Gentler lede

No-one has objected to my plea for tolerance and reconciliation, so I have replaced the lede with a version which I think gives a clearer idea of what Franklin contributed and brings out the tragedy of her death, which really transcends who did what to whom. The explanatory sentences about the scientific ideas help the non-scientist get a better idea of the importance of what she did -- apart from molecular biologists, who knows what RNA is or does, and stating the role of DNA means a lot more than referring to DNA and assuming the reader knows its role. The occurrence of controversy is made explicit, without charging into a partisan view. There is an outstanding question of terminology. In 1951, "biophysicist" was the topical descriptor. Today, would "molecular biologist" be more in accord with current usage. I know of many departments of molecular biology, molecular biology buildings and so on. Some good web sites about Franklin refer to her as a molecular biologist. But changing the term should be a matter of concensus. (It is used in WP articles about other DNA people). Michael P. Barnett (talk) 12:00, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Some feedback: I feel that the information in the lede needs to be better connected to Franklin. When I read the following:
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules play essential roles in cell metabolism and genetics. An X-ray diffraction experiment directs a beam of X-rays through a sample of a substance onto a screen. A pattern of spots is formed. This is recorded, and used to calculate the arrangement of atoms in the sample.
I felt that the article was digressing, because these three sentences in the first paragraph don't mention Franklin at all, and these sentences immediately follow information about Franklin's death. The scientific material needs to be tied to Franklin more closely. For example: "Franklin's DNA work received the most fame because DNA molecules play essential roles in cell metabolism and genetics. By using a technique called X-ray diffraction, where... Franklin was able to..." I like adding the scientific information, but I'd suggest trying to make it flow a bit better. GabrielF (talk) 06:01, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks I agree will do in next few hours Michael P. Barnett (talk) 11:21, 24 January 2011 (UTC)
I have reworded several sentences in the lede to provide continuity, with explanation some readers may want en route. Will appreciate comment and happy to streamline further if need be. Michael P. Barnett (talk) 10:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I fixed lede to make it shorter and more clearly written. Please comment here if there are objections. Hodja Nasreddin (talk) 16:29, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Attitude and tone

A recent edit (diff) introduced this material:

Franklin's exact attitude and tone about the DNA model-building of others remains a bit of minor controversy. Her preparation in her research of DNA made her well-qualified to enumerate the requirements that a correct model of DNA must meet. Despite Franklin's mastery of the requirements and constrains imposed on that correct model, she continued to maintain a low expectation that efforts in model-building would contribute in significant manner towards the expected discovery of that correct model. In 1951 she saw Watson and Crick's model and recognized that it was not the correct model. At that event, it is reported that "When Franklin saw it, she all but laughed out loud."[ref]Who Discovered DNA? Heather Kane[/ref] Work proceeded on multiple fronts and she later observed the correct model of DNA and "When Franklin saw the model, she readily accepted it."[ref]The Rosalind Franklin Papers: The DNA Riddle: King's College, London, 1951-1953[/ref]

I have moved the new text to here because I think it needs work before being added to the article. The first reference is not a reliable source (the page appears to be an essay written by a student). At any rate, the source does not contain the words "attitude" or "controversy", so the wording may need work (and it needs work to improve the grammar). Johnuniq (talk) 03:18, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Watson, James D. The Double Helix: A personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York:Athenium,1968; London:Weidenfeldand Nicolson, 1981)
  2. ^ Consult references listed in order of publication: Olby, Sayre, Klug, Piper, Judson, Glynn, Maddox, Elkin
  3. ^ Crick's 31 December 1961 letter to Jacques Monod was discovered in the Archives of the Pasteur Institute by Doris Zeller, then reprinted in "Nature Correspondence" 425, 15 on the 4th of September 2003. Watson confirmed this opinion in his own statement at the opening of the King's college Franklin-Wilkins building in 2000.
  4. ^ Watson JD, Crick FHC (1953). "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid". Nature 171: 737–738. Full text PDF This article was immediately followed by the two King's submissions: M.H.F. Wilkins, A.R. Stokes, and H.R. Wilson. Molecular Structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids, pp738–740 then by: Rosalind E. Franklin and R.G. Gosling. Molecular configuration of Sodium Thymonucleate pp 740–741.
  5. ^ Double Helix: 50 Years of DNA. Nature archives. Nature Publishing Group
  6. ^ Watson, James D. The Double Helix: A personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York:Athenium,1968;London:Weidenfeldand Nicolson, 1981)
  7. ^ Consult references listed in order of publication: Olby, Sayre, Klug, Piper, Judson, Glynn, Maddox, Elkin
  8. ^ Maddox
  9. ^ Sayre
  10. ^ Elkin
  11. ^ Maddox, page 138, lines 9 and 10