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Rosalind Franklin - Science, Music and Performance


This innovative and interdisciplinary event explored the life and the discoveries of Rosalind Franklin - chemist, biologist and X-ray crystallographer - whose photograph 51 was the key to unlocking the mystery of the structure of DNA. This journey happened with the help of both 'academic' and 'creative' speakers and through an innovative pedagogical approach that combined science, music and performance.

The event also included a panel session with renowned 'Rosalind Franklin experts' from the sciences, arts and history and the performance 'The Franklin Effect', a collaboration between composers, singers from the Electric Voice Theatre and scientists from King's College London inspired by Franklin's work on DNA.


10.00 - 10.15: Registration and refreshments

10.15 - 11.35: Panel discussion with presentations from Professor Brian Sutton (Professor of Molecular Biophysics - King's College London), Camilla Mørk Røstvik (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine - University of Manchester), Dr Corinne Smith (School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick), Dr Claire Sharpe (Renal Sciences - King's College London) and Frances M Lynch (Artistic Director, Soprano - Electric Voice Theatre). Dr Elena Riva (IATL - University of Warwick) will facilitate this session.

11.35 - 11.45: Refreshments

11.45 - 13.00: Workshop sessions - Dr Jonathan Heron (IATL - University of Warwick) and Frances M Lynch.

13.00 - 14.00: Lunch

14.00 - 14.45: 'The Franklin Effect' - Ever wondered how to sing a gene? Pondered on the harmonies of genetic mutation? Considered the translation of science into sound? What really happened in the bowels of King's over a microscope and some strands of DNA? There will be more questions and some answers in this immersive performance of innovative musictheatre works, created by some of the UK's leading composers collaborating directly with scientists at the cutting edge of research.1

14.45 - 15.00: Refreshments

15.00 - 15.45: Plenary Panel - Dr Corinne Smith, Dr Elena Riva and Dr Jonathan Heron.

15.45 - 16.00: Close

Please contact IATL's Teaching Fellow, Elena Riva (E dot Riva at warwick dot ac dot uk) with any questions.

Hear about the event in this video with Elena and Frances produced by the electric voice theatre.

ias_logo_2015.jpgwis_logo.jpegThis event was realised with the support of the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick and Warwick Women in Science.


1 The Franklin Effect by Kate Whitley, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Lynne Plowman, Shirley Thompson and Frances M Lynch in collaboration with Professor Elizabeth Kuipers (Psychology), Dr Claire Sharpe (Renal Sciences), Professor Mairi Sakellariadou (Physics), Professor Ellen Solomon (Genetics).
Patron – Judith Weir (Master of the Queen's Music).
Performed by Electric Voice Theatre Vocal Quartet.


10.00 - 16.00, Monday 23 May 2016


Humanities Studio, Humanities Building