Just as Rosalind Franklin paved the way for women in the biotechnology field, the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award will be presented to a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology and agriculture sectors who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. The Rosalind Franklin Award will stand as a lasting memory to the legacy left by Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery and our greater understanding of the molecular structure of DNA, by honoring those women who too have made significant contributions in industrial biotechnology and agriculture. Through Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images, the true double helix structure of DNA was discovered. Indeed, it was with the help of Franklin’s images and writings that eventually led Francis Crick and James Watson to release their 1953 model of the structure of DNA. Though often overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the expansive growth of the biotechnology industry to become what it is today. As said by John Desmond Bernal, a fellow X-ray crystallographer, of Franklin’s crystallographic portraits of DNA, “Her photographs were among the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.”
With this award we hope to not only honor Rosalind Franklin’s legacy, but honor those women who have also shown exemplary leadership and led the way through previously uncharted territory.
Nominees should be visionaries, exhibit leadership qualities, and have pioneered efforts in industrial biotechnology and agriculture and related fields and applicants should demonstrate significant innovative contributions in a field integral to the advancement of a biobased economy. Women in both business and academia are eligible to receive this award. Disciplines that may be considered include business, biological engineering, bioinformatics, biochemistry, enzyme development, biobased products, economics and education. Nomination forms should highlight contributions to the important goal of using industrial biotechnology and agriculture innovation to develop sustainable bio-based value-chains.