X-ray Diffractometer

Gender roles

Gender and space

Gender and history

This device manufactured by Philips for the diffraction of x-rays has been used to analyze a wide range of materials. Its use is fundamental for determining the mineral composition of a crystal structure, a laboratory technique that reveals the structural make-up and chemical composition of materials. It was an instrument of this type that was finally able to identify the structure of DNA, for which the researchers involved were awarded two Nobel prizes. Years later, it was revealed that the work of the chemist Rosalind Franklin was central to the understanding of the structure of DNA, but her contributions to the discovery were only recognized posthumously. This is yet another example of the so-called “Matilda effect” that countless women scientists have suffered throughout history.