Correction: Rosalind Franklin's crucial contribution to the discovery of DNA's structure A piece that aired on NPR this week about the discovery of DNA's structure neglected to mention the significant contribution of Rosalind Franklin to that scientific milestone.

Correction: Rosalind Franklin's crucial contribution to the discovery of DNA's structure

Correction: Rosalind Franklin's crucial contribution to the discovery of DNA's structure

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1160457184/1160457185" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A piece that aired on NPR this week about the discovery of DNA's structure neglected to mention the significant contribution of Rosalind Franklin to that scientific milestone.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And now some important context on a story that we aired yesterday, a story about the anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The story included part of a report that originally aired on NPR in 1993. It focused on the work of two scientists, James Watson and Francis Crick and a paper they published in 1953. Our rebroadcast neglected, however, to mention the significant contribution toward that discovery by a scientist named Rosalind Franklin. So on this first day of Women's History Month, a bit more about Franklin and her contributions.

CHANG: Franklin was a chemist at King's College in the early 1950s, and she produced the crucial X-ray photograph of DNA that was later used by Watson and Crick. She has been widely acknowledged as playing a major role in the discovery of DNA's double-helix structure and in fact published a paper on her findings that accompanied the research of Watson and Crick.

KELLY: Rosalind Franklin died in 1958 at the age of 37, four years before Watson, Crick and another scientist were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work, with no mention of Franklin's contribution. Without her work, the fundamental building blocks of life might not be as well understood as they are today, and our coverage of the discovery of DNA should have reflected that.

(SOUNDBITE OF RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS SONG, "UNDER THE BRIDGE")

Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.