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Live Production: The Overlooked Woman who Discovered Structure of DNA

By Tom Marino | March 15, 2023
Last Updated: March 15, 2023

WORCESTER – The Worcester Historical Museum, at 30 Elm Street, hosts the 4th Wall Stage Company’s production of “Photograph 51” in celebration of Women’s History Month.

An x-ray diffraction image captured at King’s College London in 1953, in research led by crystallographer and chemist Rosalind Franklin, was a critical to the understanding of the double helix structure of DNA. That photograph is called Photograph 51.

Franklin discovered some key properties of DNA and her work, including Photograph 51, led to the understanding of the double helix structure of DNA.

The production at the Worcester Historical Museum focusses on the mostly overlooked role Franklin had on one of the most important scientific discoveries in history.

March 15, 2023
Rosalind Franklin working in 1955.

History has largely overlooked Franklin’s work in the understanding of DNA, as she died in 1958, at age 37, after a battle with cancer. Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins shared the Nobel Prize in 1962 for their work on DNA.

“Photograph 51” runs at the Worcester Historical Museum Thursday through Saturday at 6:30 PM for two weeks (March 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25. Each Saturday (March 18 and 25), there is also a matinee show at 2 PM.

Admission is $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and Worcester Historical Museum members, and $12 for students.

Lead image courtesy of Worcester Historical Museum/ Facebook

In-story image credit: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Rosalind Franklin, CC BY-SA 4.0

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