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Rosalind Franklin

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  930 ratings  ·  95 reviews
1953 entschlüsseln zwei junge Wissenschaftler das Geheimnis des Lebens: James Watson und sein Kollege Francis Crick erklären mit ihrem Modell der Doppelhelix Aufbau und Funktion der DNA-Moleküle. Die beiden erhalten 1962 den Nobelpreis und gehen in die Geschichte ein. Kaum jemand weiß, dass eine ehrgeizige Kollegin entscheidenden Anteil an der wichtigsten Entdeckung der Bi ...more
308 pages
Published 2003 by Campus Verlag (first published June 17th 2002)
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Pink
I like biographies. If they are well written and about half interesting people (not minor celebrities) then they're one of my favourite sorts of book. So this one was already on to a head start with me. I hadn't heard of Rosalind Franklin before picking this up and know little about science advances in DNA, though I had heard of Crick and Watson - which I guess is the point of this book.

I found the science content easy to grasp, though somewhat in depth and I enjoyed the interspersed facts about
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Nicole
A balanced and complete review of the life of a woman who has been ignored, maligned, or offered sycophant worship for her role in the early nucleic acid research. Only a few of her closest coworkers seem to have known enough about her to offer clear insight and to have kept to that image in subsequent years until this biography.
The message of the book is that she was mistreated and it is fair that Rosalind Franklin be adequately acknowledged for her contributions. All of her work not just the
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Paul
Franklin was a renowned scientist in her own right, she established her reputation in X-ray photography starting with coal and moving onto viruses and DNA. She was a feisty character, and in her tragically short career she made as many friends as enemies.

Crick and Watson are the guys credited with discovering the layout of DNA, but they could not have done it without sight of some of her magnificent X-ray photographs of DNA. Theses had been passed to them without her knowledge, and it was the cl
...more
Lynne King
Looking at this book again last night, I've decided to up my rating.

Rosalind Franklin was an amazing person and I'm sure that if it had not been for her untimely death with ovarian cancer, she would have received the Nobel Prize. Without her, Messrs Watson and Crick would not have received this illustrious award.
Anne Thessen
Jul 05, 2008 Anne Thessen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy biographies, science or women's studies
Recommended to Anne by: Ricky
I don't normally like biographies, but I enjoyed this book. Perhaps because I can relate to Rosalind Franklin. There was one part in the book where the author mentions that Franklin was unable to talk about her life's passion (science) with her loved ones. That struck a chord with me since I am also a scientist and I'm very used to people not really caring about what I do for a living. Most people will ask, but I know after a certain point their eyes will glaze over and they'll stop caring. If I ...more
Leslie
3 stars. Well-written biography of this somewhat tragic scientist. Maddox does a fine job balancing personal details with the science, and provides enough technical information for the reader to get a feeling for the biggest passion of Franklin's life. While Maddox is clearly in the "pro-Franklin" camp, I felt that she presents the controversy over Watson and Crick's use of her data in a fairly even manner. She attempts to show Franklin not as a feminist icon but as a real woman with strengths a ...more
Judy
I found this book inspirational and sad. Inspirational in that Rosalind Franklin didn't allow the prejudice against her Jewish ancestry or her female gender keep her from her dream of being a scientist. Her story is sad because she seemed to have so little room to fully enjoy life. This book would be worth reading if for no other reason than to hear the "other side" of the story regarding the discovery of DNA.

Elizabeth Moffat
Three and a half stars from me.Rosalind Franklin is unfortunately probably best known for not achieving the recognition she should have got in life for unravelling the secrets of DNA. Instead, two scientists called Francis Crick and James Watson boldly used parts of her work to find out the secrets for themselves and published their findings which led to them winning the Nobel Prize. Personally, I was aware of the dis-service that had been done to Franklin but did not realise until reading this ...more
Mark
In the book "The Double Helix", Rosalind Franklin was presented as unpleasant, unattractive woman who was not fit to be doing science and was a road block in Watson's way to the double helix. There has been since the publication of the book a backlash to Watson's portrayal that has presented her as a martyr or a saint, unsung for her pivotal role in the discovery of the double helix. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Brenda Maddox presents a comprehensive, analytical, balanced, and ...more
Audrey
Great biography on scientist Rosalind Franklin, whose x-ray crystallography data led Watson and Crick (used without her knowledge or permission) to their DNA discovery etc etc. Maddox details Franklin's life - her upbringing (upper-middle class Jewish in London), her education, her scientific works (studying coal in Paris, DNA at Kings College, and mainly tobacco mosaic virus at Birkbeck, and polio virus), her struggles with funding, and the relationships she had with her fellow researchers, fam ...more
Alannah Clarke
Lately I have not been a fan of biographies or autobiographies, it seems like everywhere I turn these days I see one about someone who is grabbing their fifteen minutes of fame after only being famous 'just for being famous' and if they do claim to write it, I always believe that some ghost-write is paid to write the book instead. Since I have been pushing myself to try and read more non-fiction, I tried this one since it was picked for the group non-fiction in my book group.

Before I picked thi
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Paul
OK, OK, I finished reading it after stopping my wandering around, being chased by Louis Kim.

A fascinating book about a fascinating person. I started reading the gook because I found the following quote on the web, a quote from a letter she wrote to her father around 1940.


"You frequently state, and in your letter you imply, that I have developed a completely one-sided outlook, and look at everything and think of everything in terms of science. Obviously my method of thought and reasoning is infl
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Brendan
Rosalind Franklin is most remembered now as the unsung fourth contributor who found the evidence for Watson and Crick’s double-helix paper in the early 1950s. A brilliant experimentalist, Franklin actually made advances in three significant areas in her short life (she died of cancer at the age of 37): the understanding of coal, the shape of the DNA molecule, and the way RNA functions inside viruses.

A few notes about Maddox’s book and this remarkable scientist:

Franklin’s specialty was x-ray pho
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Julieta
The Dark Lady of DNA is an oustanding non-fiction piece of literature. It is all about the life of Rosaling Franklin, and her part in the discovery of DNA. She had originally discovered DNA, but due to her lack of timing, she wasnt able to publish her data, therefore, thats Watson and Crick found her information, studied more upon it, and in the end got the most credit for the discovery of DNA. This is a great book for those of you who love science. I personally love reading about these scientif ...more
Carol Palmer
After reading “Spinster” by Kate Bolick, I decided to find my own awakeners. Since I have Ph.D. in Genetics, I started with Rosalind Franklin.

Brenda Maddox has written a very engaging book about the woman who took the X-ray crystallography photograph that lead to the discovery of the structure of DNA. I had heard about her during my Ph.D. studies, but Ms. Maddox has fleshed out this multi-faceted, intelligent, and driven woman.
Although she could be hard to deal with at work, Rosalind Franklin w
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Dixie
Reading for March 2015 Book Group. Interesting info but bogged down w/ the scientific details (perhaps necessary due to topic) If wasn't a Book Group read, I would have put down early on am afraid.

Have to admit now that I'm finished, am glad that I read this book to the end. The information about Franklin's life, how women were treated so unequally in the University system as well as many other areas in such recent history was so interesting. Rosalind was actually very well known for her efforts
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Erin
In 1962, James Watson, Frances Crick and Maurice Wilkins received a Nobel Prize for discovering the double helix of DNA. A few years later Watson published a book The Double Helix, chronicling his race to discovery as well as exploring the other contenders. One of these contenders was Rosalind Franklin, mockingly referred to as Rosy, who is depicted as stubborn, angry, ignorant and dowdy. Those who knew her were shocked and angered by Watson’s portrayal, especially as Rosalind was no longer aliv ...more
Jennifer
When asked to name women in science, Rosalind Franklin is always high on my list. Yet before reading this book, I knew only the barest facts about her: that she was gifted at x-ray crystallography, that Watson & Crick's DNA model would have been impossible (or really, terribly inaccurate) without her, and that her results were used by them in a questionable and poorly acknowledged manner. That's it. It was high time I read this book.

Thoroughly researched, this seems as an authoritative accou
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Emi Bevacqua
Rosalind Franklin was a scientist maligned by male colleagues and then forgotten by history. Brenda Maddox rights these wrongs in delivering this interesting biography of a British scientist born in 1920 to a rich Jewish family, who died at age 37 from cancer. Despite her early death, Dr. Franklin published scientific papers prolifically in both coal studies and in virus research, it's a tragedy that she wasn't able to live longer and discover more. Although Dr. Franklin's meticulous research an ...more
Shweta Ramdas
I read this looking for a counter-opinion to Watson's 'The Double Helix'. And what a counter-punch it was. Reading this book was like reading about a different woman altogether--a self-assured, confident, passionate and considerate woman whom history treated with insufficient regard. Rosalind Franklin's journey though science and biology is an inspiring one, and one that deserve to be read. More people should be aware of Watson's false claims about her opposition to helices, and how close she ac ...more
Kaion
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA does good in getting Franklin's due in the discovery of the structure of DNA, as well as her work in coal chemistry and on tobacco-mosaic-virus. Particularly the science is presented in a sufficiently detailed and readable, if non-exciting manner.

As a biographer, however, Brenda Maddox gets really caught up in the same three or four bare biographical details --Franklin's Anglo-Jewish heritage, her love of hiking, and her brusque and intense personality-- t
...more
Stephanie
In 1962, Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson were awarded the Nobel Prize for their elucidation of DNA's structure. It has been pretty well established that they could not have discovered that structure (at least at the time they did so) without the unpublished data of Rosalind Franklin, one of Wilkins' colleagues at King's College, London. The data and a critical photograph (the now-famous "Photograph 51") was obtained and used in a somewhat questionable manner, and most of the men ...more
David
I found the childhood and family-of-origin material here boring, which is obviously a matter of taste. I'm not sure a full biography was warranted. Clearly the main hook is the story of the subject's role in the Watson/Crick discovery of the structure of DNA.

I have some interest in the sociology and history of science, and I used to edit an academic journal, so I was fully prepared to be fascinated by the story of rushing to publication, properly or improperly crediting one's peers, sexism in sc
...more
Julie
Je ne vais pas tourner autour du pot pendant des heures, mon impression peut se résumer à ceci : je n'ai pas aimé et ce, pour plusieurs raisons.

Lorsque j'ai postulé pour lire ce livre lors de la dernière édition de Masse Critique, je pensais recevoir un ouvrage mettant en scène le personnage de Rosalind Franklin. Autrement dit, que sa vie serait racontée, qu'il y aurait des dialogues,... Du coup, je m'attendais à quelque chose d'intéressant, de vivant, de prenant, de révoltant ou que sais-je enc
...more
Thomas A Wiebe
The Dark Lady of DNA.In 1968 James Watson published The Double Helix, his personal account of the elucidation of the structure of DNA, in which he de-emphasized Rosalind Franklin's critical contributions during the period of discovery, while drawing a negative portrait of her. Franklin did not receive the Nobel Prize for this discovery, but Watson and Crick did. Why not? Rank villainy?

Rosalind Franklin was one of the primary actors in the search for the structure of the DNA molecule. Her first b
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Lindsey
First off, James Watson is an asshole and everyone knows it. Also he's apparently racist, fat phobic, in favor of eugenics- in addition to being misogynistic (at least according to statements made by him posted on his wikipedia entry).

But, hang on this book was about an incredible lady named Franklin Rosalind! And wow oh wow, she is incredible! Though she could have worked more closer with her senior researcher named Wilkins (and doing so might have prevented him from literally running into the
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Aurelien
Scientist at a time when science was clearly a masculine and sexist world, dedicated to her work and career when women were more expected to be docile housewives, a free spirit, proud and independant (and paying dearly for that!) Rosalind Franklin was remarkable for more than a reason. Yet, her name will be forever associated with a stain: the controversies surrounding the discovery of the structure of DNA.

A stain because, if it was thanks to HER notes, HER work, HER X-Ray pictures consulted WIT
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Eric Wurm
This biography covers the majority of Ms. Franklin's life. More importantly, this book covers one of the most important discoveries in scientific history. Unfortunately, Rosalind Franklin didn't live long enough to write her own account. This book represents the closest thing we have to the Franklin perspective on the discovery of the DNA structure.

A friend once said that Rosalind Franklin is the most credited scientist to not receive credit. I tend to agree, and this book didn't change my mind
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Reenie
Another book wading into the (auto)biographical minefield that is the discovery of the structure of DNA. (And by minefield I'm thinking more after everything's been blown up already and everything is one ugly tangled mess of mud and holes and bitterness.) On the other hand, this is a pretty good one, carefully researched and generally even-handed, focused more on putting forward a complete picture of Rosalind Franklin's life and personality rather than getting too caught up in the debate about w ...more
Penny
This is a biography of one of the scientists whose work contributed partly to the discovery of the structure of DNA, although her work was used without her knowledge or consent. She was the infamous "Rosy" in James Watson's "The Double Helix." This biography gives a more complete and balanced picture of her childhood and early education, and her successful career before, during, and after the "Double Helix" era.

After reading Watson's book and the way he belittled her throughout (although he did
...more
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Excellent book 4 8 Jul 18, 2014 03:55PM  
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41761
Brenda Maddox, Lady Maddox FRSL (born 24 Feb 1932) is an American author, journalist, and biographer, who has lived in the UK since 1959.

Born in Brockton, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, she graduated from Harvard University (class of 1953) with a degree in English literature and also studied at the London School of Economics. She is a book reviewer for The Observer, The Times, New Statesman, The New
...more
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