Sexism and the Double Helix

Rosalind FranklinOne of the greatest American artists ever, Thomas Eakins was born in 1844. A lesser, but still fine painter Alexander Rummler was born in 1867. Neoclassical illustrator Maxfield Parrish was born in 1870. Italian composer Alfredo Casella was born in 1883. Here is his Toccata per Pianoforte:

Character actor Walter Brennan was born in 1894. Mixed media abstract artist Jane Frank was born in 1918. Actor Estelle Getty was born in 1923. And civil rights martyr Emmett Till was born in 1941. He was murdered at the age of 14. He would be 72 today.

Actor Barbara Harris is 78 today. And Christine Quinn is 47. I only bring her up because she is running for mayor against Anthony Weiner right now.

The day, however, belongs to biophysicist Rosalind Franklin who was born on this day in 1920. She did a lot of wide ranging work, but is best know for her contributions to determining the structure of DNA. It is nice to think that had she lived longer—she died of ovarian cancer at 37—she would have at least shared the Nobel Prize with Crick and Watson. But given how they specifically played down her contributions in their own work, it is easy to see her brilliance and hard work never having been fully acknowledged in her life. Here is a nice short video about her from Hank Green:

Happy birthday Rosalind Franklin!

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