The Dark Lady of DNA, Rosalind Franklin – Brenda Maddox

Fabulous book by Ms Maddox. When we think of DNA, we think of Francis Crick and James Watson. Never Rosalind Franklin, the woman whose x-rays and data actually led the two Nobel laureates to the discovery of the double helix. While Rosalind’s work was the basis on which Crick and Watson arrived at DNA structure, she herself received no credit for this work from them. None. I am sure that many people will be able to empathize with this. Its a great story of a woman passionate about science, dealing with chauvinism at work, her love for all things French and passion for travel and sports. However, if not in life, but in death, her role in one of the worlds most important discoveries has been acknowledged by many. Although it is not good enough to get her a Nobel Prize, which she should get as the process of discovery is as important as the discovery itself, as the prize is given only to the living. Must read for anyone wanting to pursue pure science or for that matter those who are passionate of what they do at work. Passion and work, who says they need to be mutually exclusive? Be not afraid being alone in pursuit of your passion. Do it with all you’ve got, for there have been others before you doing exactly the same in much tougher circumstances. Rosalind died of ovarian cancer at 37. Imagine what could have happened had she lived on.

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