A 'Roz' by any Other Name

Nicholas Wade's disdainful appraisal of Rosalind Franklin's contribution to solving the structure of DNA is not at all convincing.1 Her social and intellectual snobbery are no more relevant than the fact that Watson and Crick abrogated their gentlemen's agreement with King's College London to abandon DNA work. It is incontrovertible that Watson and Crick would not have come up with their structure were it not for Franklin's understanding of the hydration properties of DNA, which enabled her to produce appropriate samples for X-ray analysis and to tell them that their first model (and Pauling's) could not be correct because they placed the phosphates on the inside of the molecule.

The only unresolved issue is whether Watson and Crick properly acknowledged her contributions and those of others. As Wade notes, the original paper gave scant credit to others, particularly Franklin, despite the fact that...

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