Rosalind Franklin And The Double Helix

1376 Words 6 Pages
The Battle of the Minds Wrought with regimented formulas and unfeeling calculations, the idea of science as an unyielding regiment circulates as popular belief. To the majority of the population the process of creating a hypothesis, preforming an experiment, and formulating a conclusion repeats indefinitely until someone reaches a breakthrough. However, this seemingly unending cycle fails to encompass the inconstancy of the scientific process. The scientific findings surrounding the discovery of the structure of DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic acid, proves that the scientific process results from a nonlinear process. Beginning in one part of the world and ending in another, the search for the solution to the puzzle of DNA took on a life of its own. …show more content…
Shedding light upon what it means to be a scientist and the true scientific process, Watson 's “The Double Helix”, Lynne Osman Elkin’s “Rosalind Franklin and the Double Helix”, and NOVA 's Photo 51, bring together different perspectives of the epic adventure to reveal the truth of the “secret of life” and the often unseen inner workings of the world of science (Watson 197). The journey to the structure of DNA took many trials and errors, yet the most significant moments might be those concerning morality. We think that scientists work together for the betterment of society. For instance, naturally the scientists working on cancer research immediately share their findings to help each other in the interest of saving people, right? If we trust in James Watson’s account on the discovery of the …show more content…
The race began in the spring of 1951 for Watson, yet he was not the only player in this game. Watson names Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin, Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, and himself as the primary contestants in the race, yet in 1962 only three made it to the finish: The Nobel Prize (Watson 4, Elkin 42). Through the long process of finding the structure of DNA, each of the scientists named contributed a great deal. The only recently acknowledged scientist Rosalind Franklin, a young woman working on DNA at King’s College London from 1951 to 1953, faced segregation and sexism everyday (Elkin 42). Although she often did not get along with the men in the lab, they made it very clear that she was not welcomed in certain social places throughout the college (NOVA). Supplementing the male dominated culture of King’s, Maurice Wilkins, one of the scientists working on DNA and Franklin’s coworker, greatly disliked Franklin. Wilkins, shy and quiet, and Franklin, loud and opinionated, often clashed when it came to their personalities as well as their work (NOVA). Throughout his novel, Watson refers to Franklin as “Rosy” clearly trying to minimize her importance. He often describes her as “hardly able to control her temper” (165), “not unattractive… had she taken even a mild interest in clothes” (17), and “incompetent at interpreting X-ray pictures” (166). The novel presents Franklin as the perfect villain;

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