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The Secret Behind the Secret of Life: Facts and Fictions

Date & Time

Saturday, June 4, 2011
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
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3LD Art & Technology Center

In the 1950s, three labs raced to unravel the structure of DNA. Five decades after the Nobel Prize was awarded for the breakthrough, the contribution of one scientist—Rosalind Franklin—remains controversial. A riveting performance of The Ensemble Studio Theatre Production of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, directed by Linsay Firman, a historical drama that explored Rosalind Franklin’s electrifying story.

Presented in collaboration with 3-Legged Dog Media + Theater Group, created with the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Limited number of WSF Supporter tickets still available here. Additional general admission tickets may become available at the door an hour before the program.


  • Lynn Sherr

    Award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering everything from women’s issues, social change and scientific explorations to investigative reports, politics and the space program. More »


  • Anna Ziegler

    Playwright Anna Ziegler is an award-winning playwright and poet. Her play Photograph 51 won the 2008 STAGE International Script Award for the best new play about science and technology, a competition which was judged by John Guare, David Lindsay-Abaire, David Auburn, Sir Anthony Leggett, and Dr. Douglas Osheroff. The play went on to be produced at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles, The Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York and Theater J in Washington DC. More »
  • Esther Conwell

    Physicist, Chemist, Biologist Esther Conwell is widely known for her theoretical studies of the properties of materials. Her early research, with V. F. Weisskopf, on the effect of impurities on the motion of electrons, was an important step for the understanding of conduction in semiconductors, the materials of which transistors are made. That, and additional research, particularly on the effect of a high electric field (“hot electrons”), contributed to better design of transistors and thus to the technologies that led to the computer revolution. More »
  • Leslie Bernstein

    Biostatistician, Cancer Epidemiologist Leslie Bernstein delayed her scientific career to raise a family, and received her PhD in biostatistics at age 42. She then pursued a career as a cancer epidemiologist and was the first to demonstrate that exercise lowers women’s breast cancer risk. More »
  • Pamela Bjorkman

    Biophysicist, Structural Biologist Pamela Bjorkman is the Max Delbrück Professor of Biology and an HHMI investigator at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. She received a BA degree in Chemistry from the University of Oregon and a PhD degree in biochemistry from Harvard University. More »
  • Joan Siefert Brugge

    Cell Biologist Joan Brugge joined the faculty of the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in July 1997 and became the chair of this department in 2004. A graduate of Northwestern University, she received her PhD from the Baylor College of Medicine. More »
  • Raymond Gosling

    Medical Physicist Raymond Gosling pioneered x-ray diffraction research at King’s College London, and collaborated closely with Maurice Wilkins in analysing samples of DNA. Together they produced the first crystalline diffraction photographs at King’s showing an x-pattern of black dots. More »
  • Donald Caspar

    Structural Biologist Donald Caspar is a structural biologist, emeritus professor of biological science at the Florida State University Institute of Molecular Biophysics, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. More »