Inscription: ‘Rosalind Franklin, 1920-1958, Pioneer of the study of molecular structures including DNA lived here 1951-1958.’ When Rosalind Franklin
passed the Cambridge admissions exam in 1938, it caused conflict with her father, who believed that women were not eligible for a university education. Luckily Rosalind’s aunt and mother were on her side, enabling Rosalind to complete a chemistry degree, a doctorate, and later a PhD. She began work on DNA and made some invaluable observations about its structure. After she left Cambridge
in 1953, she also conducted studies on viruses, publishing numerous papers on the subject. Her death from ovarian cancer in 1938 meant that sadly she was unable to be considered for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, as the award cannot be given posthumously. Instead, the award was given to Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins. She is remembered today for her part in the discovery of the structure of DNA and for her innovative use of X-ray diffraction. The Blue Plaque in her name can be found in Chelsea and was put up in 1992.