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Rosalind Franklin: DNA’s Dark Lady January 15, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Science, TV.
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BBC – BBC Four – Documentaries – Rosalind Franklin

An interesting documentary, if only because the discovery of DNA structure and the politics behind it are endlessly fascinating (I just read ‘The Double Helix’). Nicely put together with a measured narration, wonderful photographs and good interviews with the likes of Wilkins, Gosling and Franklin’s closer contemporaries. Alas, it seems to lose focus once her early background is covered. At best it tells us the things we don’t know, like her time working in Paris. But so much of her work on DNA at King’s is mixed up with the tension between her and Watkins, as well as this programme’s determination to portray her as ‘robbed’ of credit by Crick and Watson. I can see why her friends and family would have been up in arms, especially with Watson’s caricature of her in his book. But I’d like to hope that anyone reading ‘The Double Helix’ would have enough intelligence to know that what he writes is subjective. I could have done without the emphasis on unfairness and mush towards the end of this documentary, which marred somewhat her final achievement in the structure and replication of viruses. A bit more on that topic and less obsession with Watson would have gone down much better.

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