Awards and Prizes

New medal named for Rosalind Franklin

The UK is honoring crystallographer Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) by creating a medal in her name to recognize innovations in science. Franklin’s research was largely ignored during her lifetime, but is now widely accepted as having been key to discovering the structure of DNA. The new medal – the Royal Society’s first to carry a woman’s name – has a purse worth £30,000 (approximately $42,000).

Franklin died four years before the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Francis H. C. Crick, James D. Watson, and Maurice H. F. Wilkins for the discovery of the structure of DNA.

The new medal, which will be presented annually, is open to all UK researchers, male and female. It has one of the largest monetary values of any UK award.

Details can be found on the Royal Society Website at The inaugural medal will be bestowed next year to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Crick and Watson’s Nature article on DNA.

Paul Guinnessy