In his 1968 memoir, "The Double Helix," James Watson discusses his less-than-gentlemanly rivalry with Rosalind Franklin as well the appreciation he came to acquire for her brilliant work. Gallant, perhaps, but the credit was a dollar short and quite a few days too late.
Feb. 28, 1953, was a landmark day in human history, medicine and science as well as a transformative moment in the lives of Watson and Crick. Sadly, it was just another day in the laboratory for the unsung Rosalind Franklin.
Dr. Howard Markel is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine and the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.
He is the author or editor of 10 books, including "Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892," "When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed" and "An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine."
This article, reprinted with permission from PBS Newshour, was originally published on February 28, 2013.