Rosalind Franklin is a name that you can say in a crowded room and get either blank stares or absolute rage but very little in between.
Franklin, for those not raging right now, is the scientist who discovered the molecular structure we now call DNA, but credit for the discovery has generally got to James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins, who had used Franklin’s unpublished research as the basis for theirs, and who received a Nobel prize for the discovery for years after Franklin’s death.
Fifty years later and the president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers argued that it was a woman’s biology, her DNA if you will, that meant that men, in his opinion always do better at math and science. That was 16 years ago.
I’m bringing this up because Franklin is probably just one of the better known cases of a woman’s contribution to history, being allowed to fall through the cracks or be entirely forgotten.
This is one of the issues at the heart of Persistence theatre’s new play the Mirror,
which is based on the life Armine Nutting Gosling, a name every Newfoundland and Labradorian should know, but chances are we don’t.