Journal article Open Access

Reassessing Discovery: Rosalind Franklin, Scientific Visualization, and the Structure of DNA*

Gibbons, Michelle G.

Philosophers have traditionally conceived of discovery in terms of internal cognitive acts. Close consideration of Rosalind Franklin's role in the discovery of the DNA double helix, however, reveals some problems with this traditional conception. This article argues that defining discovery in terms of mental operations entails problematic conclusions and excludes acts that should fall within the domain of discovery. It pro- poses that discovery be expanded to include external acts of making visible. Doing so allows for a reevaluation of Franklin's role in the discovery of the structure of DNA.

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