Dear Mr Edward:
as a molecular biologist and an art lover, I am always pleased to see science informing art, and art informing the public about science. Your online exhibit, “Irradiance”, is a wonderful example which brings the beauty and mystery of life on the smallest scales to a great many people who might otherwise never notice it. I am able to communicate something of the way I feel about my work by simply pointing to your art — for which my thanks.
In light of the power of such art to shape public attitudes toward science, I write to ask you to consider a small change to the introductory text of your exhibit. You have included an explanatory paragraph regarding X-ray crystallography and a somewhat oblique reference to the infamous treatment of Franklin by Wilkins et al., so you are obviously familiar with Franklin’s indispensable contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is somewhat surprising to me, then, that Franklin’s name appears only in the titles of two of the “further reading” references you provide.
I think it likely, if unfortunate, that few people who see “Irradiance” will read the references. That being so, you miss an opportunity to put Franklin’s name where it belongs: right alongside Watson and Crick in the public perception. I wonder if you would consider adjusting a sentence in your opening paragraph so as to include Rosalind Franklin’s name? I believe that for you to do this would go some considerable way towards redressing that fifty-year-old injustice.
P.S. I should have pointed out — I did notice that the text accompanying “Spiral II” includes a clear and concise explanation of Franklin’s role. What I am suggesting is that her name also be visible on the very first page, to promote a sort of “brand recognition” if you will. –B.
Dear Mr Edward: