Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Naomi Wilkinson
Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Date of Publication: August 24th 2021
Rating: 5 stars
‘’I see no reason to believe that a creator of protoplasm or primaeval matter, if such there be, has any reason to be interested in our insignificant race in a tiny corner of the universe, and still less in us, as still more insignificant individuals. Again, I see no reason why the belief that we are insignificant or fortuitous should lessen our faith.’’
London, 25 July 1920. A girl is born into a British Jewish family. More interested in board games than dolls, she attended St. Paul’s and fell in love with chemistry. She gave a university scholarship to a student that needed it more and left the lab at the University of Cambridge when she realized that the one ‘’in charge’’ didn’t want a woman to be a member of his narrow-minded elite.
She went on to study coal and its dynamics. The result? She saved uncountable lives when her discoveries led the British Army to improve masks during the Second World War. In the meantime, every night she helped families find shelter during the Luftwaffe air raids that created a living Hell. Her next stop was Paris and the study of the almost invisible but so vital substance. The study of DNA was fast becoming an obsession in science and no one was as qualified as Rosalind. A hundred hours later, Rosalind and Raymond Gosling had the famous Photo 51 in their hands. The identification of the structure of DNA had begun. The ‘secret of life’, the double helix structure changed science forever. It changed our lives forever.
BUT. As is always the case, a woman scientist HAS to go unnoticed. James Watson and Francis Crick practically stole her discovery and presented it as their own. They were awarded a Nobel Prize (another joke of an award, full of corruption, prejudices, and pure marketing), Rosalind’s name was never mentioned. However, she was undeterred, prejudice was a foe she had to fight throughout her life. She went on to study the structure and behaviour of viruses.
Her tireless efforts saved lives. From medicine to forensics, her discoveries changed the world.
Her name was Rosalind Franklin.
‘’Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.’’
Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.