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Watson and Crick with their DNA model Featured Scientists Image

Watson and Crick with their DNA model

COMMERCIAL USE REQUIRES CLEARANCE. The discoverers of the structure of DNA. James Watson (b.1928) at left and Francis Crick (1916-2004), with their model of part of a DNA molecule in 1953. Crick & Watson met at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, in 1951. Their work on the structure of DNA was performed with a knowledge of Chargaff's ratios of the bases in DNA and some access to the X-ray crystallography of Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King's College London. Combining all of this work led to the deduction that DNA exists as a double helix. Crick, Watson and Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Franklin having died of cancer in 1958. Photographed in the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK, in May 1953


1778 Benjamin Franklin scientist Featured Scientists Image

1778 Benjamin Franklin scientist

Benjamin Franklin, scientist, inventor, and US Founding Father (January 17 1706 - April 17 1790). Steel engraving by J. Thompson 1834 with later colouring, after 1778 painting by Duplessis. Dubbed "the First American" he may thus also be considered the first American scientist. His studies of electricity earned him the Royal Society Copeley Medal in 1753 and in 1756 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. After an honorary doctorate from Oxford in 1762 he became "Doctor Franklin". He helped demonstrate the unity of electrical phenomenon, and the existence of positive and negative charge. His celebrated kite flying in storms was designed to show that lightning was electrical. Being struck would be lethal, so he only suggested collecting charge to show that it performed in the same way as laboratory electrical charge. Among his many inventions is the first lightning rod and bifocals

© This image is Paul D. Stewart 2009. Do not reproduce without permission of the photographer at

1835 Reverend William Whewell Portrait Featured Scientists Image

1835 Reverend William Whewell Portrait

The Reverend William Whewell, a lithographed sketch made by E.U. Fiddis 1835, printed by Sirel. Whewell was a polymath and leading light at Cambridge during Darwin's time there. Darwin recalled in his autobiography walking home with him from Professor Henslow's study on various occasions. He is said to have been an intimidating figure to the undergraduates. His "Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences" was a highly influential work on the method of science. Whewell also coined such words as "scientist", "cathode" and "anode" and his interests spanned many disciplines. He was an opponent of evolution however, his "Indications of the Creator" (1845) expressly aimed to undo the harm the popularity of Chamber's "Vestiges of Creation" was seen to have done. Whewell opposed Darwin's theory of evolution and wrote politely to say so upon receipt of a complimentary copy in January 1860