Daily VideoOctober 1, 2021
Daily News Lesson: How Rosalind Franklin was denied recognition for her breakthrough DNA discovery
Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Some students may find it easier to read along with the transcript or turn on closed captions/CC.
Summary: Before 1953, scientists did not really understand genetics or how parents pass on traits to their children or grandchildren, not to mention all the connections between DNA and RNA and mRNA viruses and vaccines, according to Dr. Howard Merkel, author of the “The Secret of Life.” The story familiar to most people involves how James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA, cementing their place in scientific history. But Merkel’s book paints a more troubling picture of how this famous discovery came about, and why scientist Rosalind Franklin also deserved credit.
Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:
- Who are the three main people the story revolves around?
- What did Franklin discover through her research?
- Where were Watson, Crick and Franklin from?
- When did Franklin share her work on DNA with Watson and Crick and when did the latter two win the Nobel Prize?
- Why did Watson and Crick deny Franklin recognition, according to Merkel?
- How significant was the discovery of the double-helix shape of DNA?
- “The reality is, is that, if life was fair, which it’s not, it would be called the Watson-Crick-Franklin model,” Merkel said. How do you think we could recognize the significance of Franklin’s discovery today? Is this important? Why or why not?
- Have you ever had an idea that was used by someone else in which you did not received credit? How did it make you feel? What might you say if faced with that situation again?
Media literacy: Who might you have also interviewed for this story?
Check out these two NewsHour EXTRA daily news lessons on inventions that provide further example of diversity in STEM and how people’s stories get told.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Hear from the secretary of education and discuss what can be done in your school to address student mental health Continue reading
Learn about the legacy of a man who served in the U.S. military and civilian government during crucial historic moments Continue reading
Find out why one contemporary musician pushed to make a movie out of lost concert footage from decades ago Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: How fires, dry conditions are drastically increasing air pollution across California
Hear from one local reporter about why air has never been as polluted in central California as it is right now Continue reading
Daily News Lesson: Five economic terms your students should know about the global supply chain problem
What does the phrase “American supply chain” mean and and how does it affect you and your family and the economy overall? Continue reading