Race For The Double Helix: An Analysis

2562 words - 10 pages

1. What were your first impressions of the main characters?
James Watson: He can be seen as someone who is quick to judge, somewhat condescending, yet intelligent, suave, and dedicated to his work.
Francis Crick: He does the same research with Watson and they are both teammates. He is also eager to know what is in DNA and the relationship of it with the double-helix, but at the same time is disorganised, and expected Watson to do a majority of work.
Rosalind Franklin: Seeing a woman as a scientist during this time is somewhat rare, so the fact that she has taken up this profession show that she is persistent, dedicated, and smart. The only problem is that she is undervalued because of her gender. She is also very quiet and reserved because she’s in a different country.
Maurice Wilkins: This scientist is seen as somewhat sexist, because he does not believe in the potential of Rosalind’s scientific abilities. At the same time, he seemed to be dedicated to work, but Rosalind seems to do a majority of the work.

2. Compare the research approaches/ styles/ attitudes of Watson and Crick with those of
Franklin.
Franklin does independent research and is doubted by others because of her gender, but Wilkins does not like this approach and is trying to get rid of her. Watson and Crick work together and are considered more credible.

3. Do you think Franklin should have shared her information more freely with the others? Why or why not?
No, I don’t think she should have shared her information more freely because the information she shared about the double helix structure was stolen by other scientists such as Watson and Crick. Even if it was originally hers, she got no credit by the scientific society.

Under what circumstances do you think scientists are justified in not sharing their
results with others before their research is completed?
Under no circumstances should a scientist feel uncomfortable sharing information and finding, because the purpose of their research is to benefit the world, and if the world does not know, it cannot be helped. On the other hand, the world is not perfect, and devious mind, like that of Watson, would be compelled to copy another’s research without giving credit to him/her.

4. Do you think Watson may have had a valid point when he told Rosalind that a
"fresh" look" at her work may be what was needed? Explain your reasoning.
Yes, he has a point in saying that her research is accurate and worthy, yet he was using this “fresh” look conversation to get more information out of her and manipulate her resources. Additionally, this second look did help her overall, because it helped her determine the order of the phosphates.

5. What important relationship between DNA nucleotides did Watson and Crick discover?
What methods did they use to accomplish this?
They discovered the attraction between the bases, in that purines are paired with Pyridines, as seen through the patterns A-T and G-C. The...

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