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Rosalind Franklin

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,310 Ratings  ·  130 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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Lynne King
Dec 24, 2012 Lynne King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, science, dna
I looked at this book again this morning after reading that Nicole Kidman will be playing Rosalind Franklin in "Photograph 51" at the Noël Coward Theatre in London until November 21, 2015. I wish I could go...

I am showing below a part of the excellent review too as I have a great admiration for Rosalind Franklin:

"....The title refers to the single X-ray diffraction photograph of DNA which, taken at King’s College London in 1952 under Franklin’s aegis (albeit by her PhD student assistant Raymond
Oct 21, 2013 Pink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 18, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
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
Pierre Menard
Sep 03, 2015 Pierre Menard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Freshen in scientific courses at university
Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-58) è una singolare figura di scienziata la cui biografia scientifica meriterebbe di essere conosciuta presso le giovani generazioni, al di là della sua assunzione a martire della scienza femminile. Il lettore italiano può rimediare con questo interessante e documentatissimo volume scritto dalla giornalista e saggista Brenda Maddox (nata nel 1932 negli USA ma inglese di adozione), specializzata in biografie.

Cresciuta in una famiglia ebraica agiata appartenente al ce
Oct 04, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Anne Thessen
Jul 05, 2008 Anne Thessen rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 11, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir, science, uk
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.

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
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
Dec 05, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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 book 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
Apr 30, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2010 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 30, 2008 Julieta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chris Walker
A thoroughly enjoyable, informative, and well-researched biography of one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. Maddox paints a vivid and detailed account of Franklin's life, in particular her x-ray crystallography work at King's College that led directly to Watson and Crick's model of the helical structure of DNA. She covers the controversy of those times in an even-handed manner, detailing the ways in which Franklin x-ray photographs and mathematical calculations on the nature of DNA ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 firs
Audrey Zarr
May 08, 2017 Audrey Zarr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best biographies I have read, and a fantastic biography of a scientist you should know!
A good balance of science and personal. Pick this one up!
Jan 02, 2017 MaggyGray rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books-in-2016
Kommt irgendwann noch!
Harsha Gurnani
In one word: Inspiring.
(Especially because I'm starting my own PhD life, and I was also relieved and motivated by similarities (loosely, nothing to brag about) in attitude, principles, dreams and inter-personal relations, haha!)

Some of us associate Rosalind Franklin with the tragedy of missing out on her Nobel because of her early death, of not being given due credit for her experimental contributions to the discovery of (or rather evidence for) the helical nature of DNA, of being taken advanta
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
Mar 05, 2017 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to be fully captivated by this book, but it was worth persevering. As a female scientist, I enjoyed the setting and the history of science woven into Rosalind's story. It was a fair treatment of the many sides of scientific collaboration, unfairness, and ego.
Apr 02, 2013 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Becky Shattuck
The story of Rosalind Franklin's work is interesting, but the biographer only focuses on the work intermittently. Most of the biography is filled with details about her personal relationships.

It seems that Franklin might have felt the need to choose between family and a career, and she chose to focus on her career. She felt uncomfortable around most single men and any of their affections, and so she mostly kept to herself and allowed herself to only befriend married men. Perhaps she worried abo

Considering women in scientific history, none garner a more mysterious and prestigious fame as Rosalind Franklin. In the book Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox, the previously unknown contributions of the lady genius unveil. Brenda Maddox aptly blends both casual and scientific jargon into a comprehensive read. The depth of scientific knowledge, translated into comprehensive vernacular, aids in understanding Franklin's true genius. Franklin proves her prowess with her crys
As a science student in university, we learn about important scientists all the time. In every class I've taken, whether it be physics, organic chemistry, or microbiology, the monumental discoveries of scientists of the past are always mentioned, usually as an introduction to the subject. Course after course, you hear names like Newton, Pasteur, Mendel, Watson and Crick-- but hardly any female scientists. In fact, when I started to think about it, what female scientists had I even heard of? The ...more
Sep 19, 2008 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 31, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Excellent book 4 9 Jul 18, 2014 03:55PM  
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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 about Brenda Maddox...

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