The Rosalind Franklin Society is an honorific, interdisciplinary, and international society which recognizes, fosters, and advances the important contributions of women in the life sciences and affiliated disciplines. In so doing, the Society honors the under-recognized achievements of the late Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958), a British x-ray crystallographer whose work producing x-ray images of DNA was crucial in the discovery of its structure by James Watson and Francis Crick. Franklin symbolizes progress for women in science but her accomplishments were not recognized during her lifetime, awarded posthumously, nor are they completely acknowledged today. To celebrate the life, work, and symbolic power of this remarkable heroine in science, the Society recognizes the work of outstanding women scientists, fosters greater opportunities for women in the sciences, and motivates and educates by examples young generations of women who have this calling.
Toward accomplishing its mission, the Society works to enable women to achieve more tenure-track appointments in academia as well as leadership positions in industry, academia, and government. As these goals are achieved, the Society communicates them to the scientific community and to talented young women to motivate them to pursue science as a profession. Within its purview, the Society maintains regular communication with the Board, holds an annual board meeting, organizes special events throughout the year, solicits funding for the creation of its own awards for women in the life sciences, and educates the public, policy makers, and the press community about the significant contributions of women to scientific research and their impact.
The Board includes 100 leaders in the field, including 5 Nobel Laureates, eminent researchers, educators, administrators, and applied scientists. The Society also includes a panel of 24 Advisory Board members representing the nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors. Broadening the reach and visibility of RFS, is its Council of Academic Institutions, comprised of major universities, medical schools, and research institutes represented on our Board. We have also formed a Council of Corporate Leadership, representing the foremost corporations in the fields of science and technology, to be comprised of frontrunners in business who understand the need to address barriers faced by women in typically male-dominated professions and institutions. With such important individuals, institutions, and corporations involved, RFS is poised to have enormous influence and impact helping women scientists achieve their greatest potential. By bringing together leaders in science, both women and men, the Society will work to ensure that women obtain the opportunity, advancement, recognition, and influence in science they deserve.