Rosalind Franklin

By: Cami Henyan

Young Adult

When was the person born? July 25th, 1920

Where was the person born? Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom

Where did the person go to school? University of Cambridge and Newnham College


What was the person’s career? Chemist and X-ray crystallographer she worked with DNA mostly researching it's form an structure


When, where, and how did the person die? April 16, 1958 Chelsea, London, United Kingdom Died from Ovarian Cancer and a big part of her getting cancer was because she worked with X-ray machines she got a lot of radiation getting her cancer

Her Discovery

What object or theory is your subject famous for inventing? X-ray diffraction of DNA

Briefly describe your subject’s invention? Lead to the conclusion that

DNA formed a double helix

Include a picture of you subject and her invention.

How would the history of the world be changed if the person had never lived?

She helped make X-ray machines more efficient and without her DNA pictures

they would not have had the knowledge of the double helix helping scientists

make an accurate model of DNA.

Her Impact

What major world events were going on when this person was alive? How did these events affect the person? Korean War was going on and advances in technology were happening such as; color TV, moving X-ray machines, jet planes, and nuclear bombs. These affected the kind of work that she was able to do and research by working with new X-ray machines and having to help Britain with the war effort after college.


What was the person’s family like? Her family was well-to-do and she had four siblings. Her dad wanted to a scientist, but didn’t, and when Rosalind wanted to be a scientist he discouraged it, so her aunt paid for her education.

What was the person’s childhood like? OMIT

What important early experiences did the person have? OMIT

Work Life

What contributions did the person make to others? She helped all her lab partners get prizes by discovering so many things about DNA and genetics. She helped in healthcare by improving X-ray machines and learning about DNA and genetics.

What problems did the person have to overcome? Her father not wanting her to be a scientist and having men as the dominant gender in science.

Famous Quotes

What are some famous quotes by this person? “You look at science as some kind of demoralizing invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday existence should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation for life. In so as far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.”

Adult Personal Life

What places had the person lived? She lived mostly in Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom, but also in Chelsea, London, United Kingdom and Paris, France.

Did the person marry or have children? She didn’t marry nor have kids.

What other important experiences did the person have as an adult? OMIT


Did the person receive any awards or special recognitions? She had many awards including, but not limited to: Iota Sigma Pi National Honorary Member, Rosalind Franklin Laboratory, award given in her name Rosalind Franklin Award for Women in Science, established the Rosalind Franklin Society in her name, Honorary Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and more.

What are other people’s opinions of this person? OMIT

Why didn’t she get a Nobel Prize? Her partners did for their joint discoveries, but she was already dead, so she was ineligible for a Nobel. (extra question)


What makes this person interesting or inspiring? That even though women were looked down upon or rejected in science she never gave up and made discoveries that changed science.

Who inspired this person? She was strongly influenced by her grandfather.