APSUO Announces Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award

In conjunction with the Advanced Photon Source (APS), the APS Users Organization (APSUO) has established the APSUO Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award. The nomination deadline for this award is March 15, 2004. The award will be presented at the 2004 Users Meeting for the Advanced Photon Source, held at Argonne on May 3-6, 2004.

Rosalind Franklin

Born in 1920, Rosalind Franklin graduated from Cambridge University in 1941 in time to focus on a wartime problem: the composition of coal and charcoal and how to use them most efficiently. She published five papers on the subject before she was 26 years old, work that is still quoted today, and helped launch the field of high-strength carbon fibers. When Franklin had completed her Ph.D. studies, she began working in x-ray diffraction. She pioneered the use of this method in analyzing complex, unorganized matter such as large biological molecules and not just single crystals. In 1951, Franklin went to work as a research associate for John Randall at King's College. While in her early 30s, Franklin performed x-ray crystallographic studies of DNA that were a critical contribution to the solution of the molecule's structure. J. D. Bernal called her images of DNA "the most beautiful x-ray photographs of any substance ever taken." Franklin's career was cut short by her untimely death at age 37.

The new Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award will recognize an important technical or scientific accomplishment by a young investigator that depended on, or is beneficial to, the APS. The award is open to senior graduate students and those whose Ph.D. was awarded no more than two years prior to nomination.

The award consists of a plaque plus $1,000. The recipient of the award will be asked to present at the Users Meeting a 20-minute talk on her or his research.

Complete nomination packages (including supporting letters) are due to the APS User Office by March 15, 2004. The recipient will be notified by April 5.

Sources:

Text: "A Science Odyssey, People and Discoveries," http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bofran.html ©1998 WGBH

Text and photo: The San Diego Supercomputer Center, "Women in Science," http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/, photo courtesy of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives