Rosalind Franklin

1920 - 1958

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Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was an English 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, her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely unrecognized during her life, for which she 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".She 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. Disappointed by Norrish’s lack of enthusiasm, she took up a research position under the British Coal Utilisation Research Association (BCURA) in 1942. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Rosalind Franklin has received more than 3,794,128 page views. Her biography is available in 79 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 72 in 2019). Rosalind Franklin is the 17th most popular biologist (up from 18th in 2019), the 157th most popular biography from United Kingdom (up from 175th in 2019) and the 4th most popular British Biologist.

Rosalind Franklin discovered the double helix structure of DNA.

Memorability Metrics

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    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 79

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.23

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 4.37

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among biologists, Rosalind Franklin ranks 17 out of 844Before her are James Watson, Luc Montagnier, Alfred Russel Wallace, Peter Kropotkin, Georges Cuvier, and Richard Dawkins. After her are Francis Crick, Thomas Henry Huxley, Thomas Hunt Morgan, Élie Metchnikoff, Trofim Lysenko, and Nikolai Vavilov.

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Among people born in 1920, Rosalind Franklin ranks 9Before her are Federico Fellini, Yul Brynner, Charles Bukowski, Ray Bradbury, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, and Toshiro Mifune. After her are Mario Puzo, Farouk of Egypt, Paul Celan, Charlie Parker, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and Montgomery Clift. Among people deceased in 1958, Rosalind Franklin ranks 5Before her are Pope Pius XII, Imre Nagy, Wolfgang Pauli, and John B. Watson. After her are Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Roger Martin du Gard, Maurice de Vlaminck, Clinton Davisson, Ernest Lawrence, Tyrone Power, and Lion Feuchtwanger.

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, Rosalind Franklin ranks 157 out of 6,924Before her are Cat Stevens (1948), Ada Lovelace (1815), Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank (1935), Thomas Newcomen (1663), Eric Clapton (1945), and C. S. Lewis (1898). After her are Mark Knopfler (1949), Mary Wollstonecraft (1759), Humphry Davy (1778), Joseph Priestley (1733), Mick Jagger (1943), and Alfred Marshall (1842).

Among BIOLOGISTS In United Kingdom

Among biologists born in United Kingdom, Rosalind Franklin ranks 4Before her are Charles Darwin (1809), Alexander Fleming (1881), and Alfred Russel Wallace (1823). After her are Francis Crick (1916), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825), Richard Owen (1804), Erasmus Darwin (1731), Robert Brown (1773), Christian de Duve (1917), John Edward Gray (1800), and Philip Miller (1691).