Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958)
Rosalind Franklin was a chemist and x-ray crystallographer. Franklin’s x-ray diffraction photos of DNA, including the famous Photograph 51, and subsequent data analysis were crucial to Francis Crick and James Watson’s theoretical model of the structure of DNA. Franklin’s research contributed not only to our understanding of DNA but also to RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. While she did not receive credit during her lifetime for her contributions to our understanding of DNA’s structure, today it is recognized that her research led to the discovery of DNA’s double helix.