Rosalind Franklin

1920 - 1958

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Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was a British chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, Franklin's contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely unrecognised during her life, for which Franklin has been variously referred to as the "wronged heroine", the "dark lady of DNA", the "forgotten heroine", a "feminist icon", and the "Sylvia Plath of molecular biology". Franklin graduated in 1941 with a degree in natural sciences from Newnham College, Cambridge, and then enrolled for a PhD in physical chemistry under Ronald George Wreyford Norrish, the 1920 Chair of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Rosalind Franklin has received more than 5,271,031 page views. Her biography is available in 87 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 85 in 2019). Rosalind Franklin is the 11th most popular biologist (up from 13th in 2019), the 122nd most popular biography from United Kingdom (up from 141st in 2019) and the 3rd most popular British Biologist.

Rosalind Franklin discovered the double helix structure of DNA.

Memorability Metrics

  • 5.3M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 73.39

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 87

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 8.46

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.46

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among biologists, Rosalind Franklin ranks 11 out of 1,097Before her are Ivan Pavlov, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Ernst Haeckel, Konrad Lorenz, and Georges Cuvier. After her are James Watson, Karl Landsteiner, Alfred Russel Wallace, Francis Crick, Thomas Hunt Morgan, and Thomas Henry Huxley.

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Among people born in 1920, Rosalind Franklin ranks 6Before her are Pope John Paul II, Federico Fellini, Isaac Asimov, Yul Brynner, and Charles Bukowski. After her are Toshiro Mifune, Ray Bradbury, Farouk of Egypt, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Paul Celan, and Mario Puzo. Among people deceased in 1958, Rosalind Franklin ranks 4Before her are Pope Pius XII, Wolfgang Pauli, and Imre Nagy. After her are Frédéric Joliot-Curie, John B. Watson, Ernest Lawrence, Roger Martin du Gard, Clinton Davisson, Kurt Alder, Faisal II of Iraq, and Milutin Milanković.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, Rosalind Franklin ranks 122 out of 8,785Before her are Edward VIII (1894), Ringo Starr (1940), Edward II of England (1284), J. J. Thomson (1856), Bon Scott (1946), and Charles I of England (1600). After her are George Stephenson (1781), Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1665), Brian Johnson (1947), Mark Knopfler (1949), Robert Owen (1771), and William Gilbert (1544).

Among BIOLOGISTS In United Kingdom

Among biologists born in United Kingdom, Rosalind Franklin ranks 3Before her are Charles Darwin (1809), and Alexander Fleming (1881). After her are Alfred Russel Wallace (1823), Francis Crick (1916), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825), Robert Brown (1773), Christian de Duve (1917), Richard Owen (1804), John Edward Gray (1800), Robert Edwards (1925), and Philip Miller (1691).