Rosalind Franklin, was the scientist who made the first clear X-ray images of the structure of DNA.
Artists Wyllie O Hagan discovered Franklin’s work on DNA whilst working in an Artist Residency in a Cancer Research UK laboratory in London
Franklin’s X-ray picture ‘Photo 51’ informed Crick and Watson of DNA’s double helix structure.
They received the Nobel Prize, her contribution was unacknowledged.
Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, aged 37.
Although Rosalind Franklin never received the recognition for her work in discovering DNA, she has however become a very important part of women’s life’s all over the world. Franklin and the artist O’Hagan both had ovarian cancer. Through finding Rosalind Franklin’s work the two artists have found a way to promote awareness of ovarian cancer through art and also give Rosalind’s work and Rosalind a place in history by helping women who may have been diagnosed with cancer or by raising the awareness and symptoms so that the disease can be caught early and treated.
Wyllie O Hagan’s art on Franklin was exhibited in The Smith Killien Gallery, in Charleston, SC, USA from 6-8th September 2007. It was hosted by the Center for Women Charleston.
They say in life that there is no such thing as a coincidence and that everything in life happens for a reason. How disappointed and deflated Rosalind must of felt when the nobel prize went to Crick and Watson after all her years of hard work, but how overjoyed and happy would she now be to see her discovery and work helping women just like her.
For more information about Wyllie O Hagan and Rosalind Franklin, visit their website at