Rosalind Franklin portrait unveiled in FSE

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) welcomed its newest addition: a portrait of Rosalind Franklin, the famous British scientist and the namesake of the prestigious RUG fellowship for female scholars.
By Jacob Thorburn

The portrait was recently donated to the FSE by artist Roel Endendijk, who is friends with a member of the faculty. The gift was unexpected and a ‘pleasant surprise’, says Mariëlle Zwaanenburg, head of communications at the FSE. She says that the FSE is ‘very happy’ with the portrait because Rosalind Franklin ‘means so much for the faculty.’

When FSE vice-dean Klaas Poelstra announced that the portrait would be given pride of place in the Bernoulliborg building, he beamed. Eventually, she will hang in the brand new Feringa building. ‘But everyone should go pay her a visit now.’

At the unveiling, Endendijk said that the portrait – which is made of black and white threads of cotton on a wooden panel – can be ‘a bit hypnotising to look at.’ He was inspired to create it after seeing a popular black and white photo of Rosalind Franklin.

Franklin was a British scientist who is best known for her work on the structure of DNA. Some accredit Franklin with the earliest stages of research which eventually led to the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure.

The Rosalind Franklin Fellowship was introduced by former Dean of the FSE, Douwe Wiersma, in 2002. The fellowship aims to promote the advancement of talented international female researchers. As of 2019, 31 female fellows have been appointed across different disciplines.

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