Reassessing Discovery: Rosalind Franklin, Scientific Visualization, and the Structure of DNA*

  title={Reassessing Discovery: Rosalind Franklin, Scientific Visualization, and the Structure of DNA*},
  author={Michelle G. Gibbons},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  pages={63 - 80}
Philosophers have traditionally conceived of discovery in terms of internal cognitive acts. Close consideration of Rosalind Franklin’s role in the discovery of the DNA double helix, however, reveals some problems with this traditional conception. This article argues that defining discovery in terms of mental operations entails problematic conclusions and excludes acts that should fall within the domain of discovery. It proposes that discovery be expanded to include external acts of making… 
Rosalind Franklin and the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
Issues associated with nature of science (NOS) have long been recognized as an essential component of scientific literacy. While consensus exists regarding the importance of an explicit reflective
Scientific revolutions, specialization and the discovery of the structure of DNA: toward a new picture of the development of the sciences
It is argued that the transition toward a new specialty corresponds to a revolutionary change for the group of scientists involved in such a transition and the incommensurability across specialties as possessing both semantic and methodological aspects.
Mapping Nature’s scientist: The posthumous demarcation of Rosalind Franklin’s crystallographic data
ABSTRACT Nature, the journal that in 1953 published James Watson and Francis Crick’s double-helix model of DNA, also published numerous pieces about crystallographer Rosalind Franklin. Franklin’s
Secret of Life: Conflicting Attitudes Surrounding the Life and Work of Rosalind Franklin
History often attributes the discovery of the DNA molecule to Watson and Crick, though it often forgets the other key players: one of whom was Rosalind Franklin. Her work on the project was
Using the Discovery of the Structure of DNA to Illustrate Cultural Aspects of Science
Abstract DNA is a central topic in biology courses because it is crucial to an understanding of modern genetics. Many instructors introduce the topic by means of a sanitized retelling of the history
Politi, V. (2018). Scientific revolutions, specialization and the discovery of the structure of DNA: toward a new picture of the development
  • Vincenzo Politi
  • Philosophy
  • 2017
In his late years, Thomas Kuhn became interested in the process of scientific specialization, which does not seem to possess the destructive element that is characteristic of scientific revolutions.
On serendipity in science: discovery at the intersection of chance and wisdom
The analysis of serendipity offered in this paper contributes to discussions about the social-epistemological aspects of scientific discovery and has normative implications for the structure of epistemically effective scientific communities.
The Nobel Science: One Hundred Years of Crystallography
X-ray crystallography is the most common technique for the determination of three-dimensional crystalline structures at the atomic scale. Since the discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals
Mid-Century Molecular: The Material Culture of X-ray Crystallographic Visualisation across Postwar British Science and Industrial Design
This thesis investigates the use and significance of X-ray crystallographic visualisations of molecular structures in postwar British material culture across scientific practice and industrial
Art and Science: A Tangled Relation
Broaching the topic of the relation between art and science 500 years after the Renaissance plunges us into a complex set of tangled congruities and incongruities in flux. Some writers portray the


The thesis that the process of scientific discovery involves logically analyzable procedures, as opposed to intuitive leaps of genius, has generally not been a popular one in this century. Since the
The double helix and the 'wronged heroine'
In 1962, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Notably absent from the podium was Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray
The Logic of Discovery: An Analysis of Three Approaches
Is there anything about the discovery of scientific theories that is of legitimate concern to the philosopher of science? The answer to this question is still controversial. Popper (1959), Hempel
Rosalind Franklin: Unsung Hero of the DNA Revolution
ON APRIL 25, 1953, three papers were published in Nature, the prestigious scientific journal,' which exposed the "fundamentally beautiful"2 structure of DNA to the public, and sounded the starting
Why was the Logic of Discovery Abandoned
It is difficult to find a problem area in the philosophy of science about which more nonsense has been talked and in which more confusion reigns than ‘the philosophy of discovery’. It is even hard to
Scientific Discoveries and the End of Natural Philosophy
Recent sociological studies of scientific discovery have challenged the assumption that such discoveries are easily identifiable processes which take place in the mind of heroic discoverers. In this
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA
The untold story of the woman who helped to make one of humanity's greatest discoveries - DNA - but who was never given credit for doing so. 'Our dark lady is leaving us next week.' On 7 March 1953
Visual Representations in Science*
This paper evaluates a general argument for the conclusion that visual representations in science must play the role of truth bearers if they are to figure as legitimate contributors to scientific
Patterns of Discovery.
An examination of the processes involved in theory-finding in science. Professor Hanson considers various examples from the history of physics in the light of elementary particle physics. This is a
A Case Study in the Applied Philosophy of Imaging: The Synaptic Vesicle Debate
Thinkers from a variety of fields analyze the roles of imaging technologies in science and consider their implications for many issues, from our conception of selfhood to the authority of science. In