The film “DNA Science – The Secret of Life”, answers the very primitive question, ‘what is the secret of life’ concerning the very being of living organisms. It unravels the mystery and history behind the discovery and formulation of the double helical structure of DNA.
The documentary narrates the sequence of events between two teams of scientists, one working in Britain and another led by an American chemist, who were captivated by the very same question and working on it with different approaches. It was surprising to notice how sexist the movie was! The film gives a detailed description of the physical appearance of Rosalind Franklin, while, no such remarks were given to other scientists working on the theme. I would like to raise a question here, for how long would women be objectified in the scientific world? Though Watson was barred from conducting research on DNA for a while, he and his two other colleagues received the prestigious Noble Prize.
Although Ms Franklin had rigorously worked towards imaging the DNA and the proof of her exemplary work are well documented in her notebooks. She was not given any credentials for her contribution because the award can’t be given posthumously. How ethically is it correct? Death is not in our control yet so far. Should not the scientific community maintain and practice higher ethical values in the workplace? Rather than being in a rush to publish the findings, like what the American chemist did, isn’t it necessary to work harmoniously towards the common overarching goal? Why is being the first so important?