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The Secret Behind the Secret of Life: Facts and Fictions

Saturday, June 4, 2011
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

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.


Lynn SherrBroadcast Journalist, Author

Award-winning broadcaster and author Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering a wide range of stories—from women’s issues and social change to investigative reports, politics and the space program—at 20/20 and World News.

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Leslie BernsteinBiostatistician, Cancer Epidemiologist

Leslie Bernstein delayed her scientific career to raise a family and received her Ph.D. 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.

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Pamela BjorkmanBiophysicist, 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 Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Harvard University.

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Donald CasparStructural 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.

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Esther ConwellPhysicist, 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.

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Raymond GoslingMedical Physicist

Raymond Gosling pioneered x-ray diffraction research at King’s College London and collaborated closely with Maurice Wilkins in analyzing samples of DNA. Together they produced the first crystalline diffraction photographs at King’s showing an x-pattern of black dots.

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Joan Siefert BruggeCell 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.

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Anna ZieglerPlaywright

Anna Ziegler is a playwright, whose plays have been developed at The Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Stage and Film, and Soho Rep, among others, and are published by Dramatists Play Service. An upcoming collection will be published by Oberon Books. She is a graduate of Yale and holds an M.F.A. in dramatic writing from Tisch.

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