Rosalind Franklin Selected as Namesake for Mars Rover

New Rochelle, NY, February 8, 2019   — The Rosalind Franklin Society applauds the decision to rename the UK-based Mars Rover ExoMars as Rosalind Franklin, in honor of the British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite.

Rosalind Franklin was selected by the European Space Agency from nearly 36,000 responses received in response to a public call for suggestions. The Rover will be sent to Mars in 2020.

"As founder of the Rosalind Franklin Society, I am so very gratified, as are the members of our founding board, that the United Kingdom, where she made her remarkable discovery, is honoring her in such a magnificent way," said Mary Ann Liebert, Founder of RFS and CEO of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The Rosalind Franklin 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. 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.