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Animated Lesson on Rosalind Franklin Pays Tribute to “DNA’s Unsung Hero”

In a new TED-Ed original lesson titled “Rosalind Franklin: DNA’s unsung hero,” Cláudio L. Guerra covers Franklin’s life with Susan Zimmerman as narrator. The video, animated by Chris Bishop, goes over everything from her Cambridge scholarship, the sexism she faced in the scientific community, Watson and Crick, and other scientific contributions that you might not know about. 

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The announcement that Nicole Kidman would continue her West End role as the X-ray crystallographer and chemist in a film adaptation was very exciting since it meant the overlooked scientist would receive the mainstream acknowledgement that she deserves. I wasn’t taught about Franklin in high school, but it feels like her achievements are gradually becoming common knowledge. Features like Race for the Double Helix and Secret of Photo 51, Anna Ziegler’s play, or even Watson’s insufferable voice in the book The Double Helix dive into more detail on the topic, but this animation is a succinct and accessible introduction to Franklin’s life.

TED-Ed also previously animated a lesson about Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cells, so it’s awesome to see them tell the story of another under-recognized woman.

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