Thursday, May 13, 2010

The facts of PhD life (Part 2 - History)

WOMEN: The unsung heroes of science.

"Forgotten" female collaborators - A short list
Mileva Einstein - Theory of Relativity
Lise Mitner - Nuclear Fission
Rosalind Franklin - Structure of DNA

James Watson on Rosalind Franklin in his book "The Double Helix"
"By choice she did not emphasize her feminine qualities. ... There was never lipstick to contrast with her straight black hair, while at the age of thirty-one her dresses showed all the imagination of English blue-stocking adolescents. So it was quite easy to imagine her the product of an unsatisfied mother who unduly stressed the desirability of professional careers that could save bright girls from marriages to dull men. ... Clearly Rosy had to go or be put in her place. The former was obviously preferable because, given her belligerent moods, it would be very difficult for Maurice [Wilkins] to maintain a dominant position that would allow him to think unhindered about DNA. ... The thought could not be avoided that the best home for a feminist was in another person's lab."

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