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Rosalind Franklin and DNA

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this classic work Anne Sayre, a journalist and close friend of Franklin, puts the record straight.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1975)
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Caroline
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
OK, so it's probably a little biased because it's clear that the author was close friends with Ms Franklin, but nonetheless, it painted a very interesting picture of the woman who made many contributions to the scientific field, and who alas, received very little recognition for her work. Certainly James Watson who wrote [The Double Helix] appeared to discredit Ms Franklin almost every time he mentions her, even going so far as giving her a diminutive nickname of 'Rosy'.

This book attempts to not
...more
Gabrielle Gouch
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sayre’s book is an essential contribution to the history of the discovery of DNA.

I read James Watson’s The Double Helix about two decades ago. His version of how the structure of DNA was discovered seemed to me so unlike the scientific research I was engaged in. Yes, I used to be a research scientist, I am now a writer.

The scientific research I was familiar with was more the sort Rosalind Franklin was doing. I never met or heard of such happy go lucky geniuses as James Watson and Francis Crick,
...more
Michael Connolly
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, biography
The three main scientists who discovered the structure of DNA were Jim Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. Rosalind Franklin was the experimentalist, who used X-ray diffraction of fibers of DNA to determine that it was helical. Francis Crick determined that there were two helices, and that they ran in opposite directions. Jim Watson discovered the base pairings based on hydrogen bonds. Since Franklin died of cancer before the Nobel prize was awarded, and since there is a rule forbiddin ...more
Heather
Feb 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
So the basic premise here--- is that the author feels that Watson was a total jerk about Rosalind Franklin in his book "The Double Helix". When I read the Double Helix, I thought this myself, even though I did not know much about her--- beyond the fact that she took some xray pics that let us know DNA forms a double helix.

I suppose the authors had an important message to put out there in the world--- and I think as a result Franklin has gotten more props in the textbooks of today's generation.
...more
Kristi Thielen
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Franklin is a fascinating woman and the passage of time has only increased interest in how she may/may not have been cheated out of recognition for research she did on DNA. But I’m not certain this book is the best one to read to learn about her or that controversy.

Sayre’s work was published in 1975 and cannot help but be dated to a contemporary reader. When originally published, she took criticism for making Franklin seem “too much of a feminist” when she was not; by today’s standards Sayre’s
...more
Rashed Al Shamsi
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to write my review as soon as I completed reading this book. I got to say that Rosalind Franklin can be a source of motivation during my working career! Being "sunk up" in DNA means viewing every angle of it. So I choose to read the pioneers behind this Complex yet Organized Molecule. Although I got to say that the author might seem to be very close to Rosalind, I preferred to have a decent judgment on the case mentioned in the book. Well she acheived it! They way she spread the facts a ...more
David Meyer
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I generally enjoy any book about the history of important events in science, and this book was set up to be more interesting then most. The book is written by a friend of Rosalind Franklin, years after Franklin has died. It was published in 1975 and written around events that took place in the early 1950s. Sayre uses the book to stand up for her late friend's career, and to try to set the record straight about all of the accomplishments she made that were credited to others. The book has a clear ...more
Marilyn
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
When I was an undergraduate, Rosalind Franklin was never mentioned in discussions about the structure of DNA. Yet the x-rays of the molecule which she produced were essential to the work of Watson and Crick. The EXCUSE that has been used was the Nobel Prize has never been awarded posthumously and unfortunately she died young. Furthermore, Maurice Wilkins, was given credit for the work she performed. I believe the real problem at the time was the male dominated field of science and the male view ...more
Bill Daniels
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a DNA freek (where would I be without it?), I am fascinated with the research and researchers that figured out the elegant structure. Rosalind Franklin did some amazing work in producing crystallographs of the molecule.

She worked with chauvinist, dismissive men in the early '50s. She was a difficult person in her own right. She died before the Nobel Prize was awarded. It is challenging to consider whether she would have been named on the three person team if she lived.

Renee
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Anne Sayre sets the record straight and provides a brief biography of her friend Rosalind Franklin.

Franklin is given due credit for her part in the discovery of the shape and structure of DNA. Sayre also rebukes the absurd stereotypes about Franklin that are found in the popular book Double Helix, which was written by the very man who heavily relied on her unpublished research, and took credit for all the work.
Thomas A Wiebe
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a good biography of the experimental physicist Rosalind Franklin by her friend Anne Sayre, but the subsequent book by Brenda Maddox, The Dark Lady of DNA is much better. Sayre had real difficulty separating her feelings about her friend from a more careful assessment of Franklin's role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

See my review of The Dark Lady of DNA.
Marion
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-science
I am so frustrated that I can only find one biography on this great scientist. This is a small book and it is not the most absorbing read but I am grateful that someone has chosen to write her story.
Kimberly
Jan 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent read for fans of DNA and scientists...and a good shot at men who rip off and then disparage women scientists. I'm looking at you, James.
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