Franklin is best known for her work on the X-ray diffraction images of DNA which led to the discovery of the DNA double helix. Her data, according to Francis Crick, were “the data we actually used” to formulate Crick and Watson’s 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA. Franklin’s images of X-ray diffraction confirming the helical structure of DNA were shown to Watson without her approval or knowledge. This image and her accurate interpretation of the data provided valuable insight into the DNA structure, but Franklin’s scientific contributions to the discovery of the double helix are often overlooked.
She may have been overlooked elsewhere, and particularly in terms of the Nobel prize awarded to Crick and Watson, but she has not been forgotten and was honored today by Google in a doodle!