Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick – Science History Rap Battle

Thanks for watching the video! An absolute high in my short career integrating science, music, and video.

More is coming soon on the story of the Rosalind Franklin video. For now, here are some opportunities to go deeper with the content.


Rap Genius Annotations: The lyrics to “Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick” can be seen here. Thanks to rapgenius, people can annotate these lyrics,  providing explanations and links for each line. Search for the deeper meaning to the “She needs to change her hair” line, or the rap reference of the “I’m a scientist… man” line.

Books: I’d recommend starting with The Double Helix by James Watson for his side of the story. Check out Rosalind Franklin and DNA by Anne Sayre for a pro-Rosalind rebuttal. And look at the Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox for an attempt to split the difference.

Websites: I also recommend this Berkeley website called Understanding Science that uses this history as a case study in the nature of science. Their version of the story begins here.

Lastly, if you are a student or a teacher and can figure out a creative way to incorporate this into your class, I want to hear about it! Post a comment here and let me know what you have in mind.

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Remember to subscribe to the the YouTube channel if you are not already, and check out the trailer below.

23 thoughts on “Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick – Science History Rap Battle

  1. Pingback: Rosalind Franklin putting a Smack Down on Watson and Crick. | Omoju Miller

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  5. Pingback: Video: 7th graders rap about Rosalind Franklin, win everything |

  6. Pingback: Epic Rap Battles: Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick | OzHouse

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  9. This is amazing! You seem like a super dope, super conscious science teacher. Are you straight and/or single? Because some like you should be dating someone like me. Ha ha. In all seriousness though, as a former science major and current race & gender studies teacher, I sincerely respect your skills. Keep up the great work!

  10. Thank you, Tom! This is amazing and inspiring!! I’m definitely showing this to my Berkeley third graders. Particularly for my girls, this is a much-needed reinforcement of my message that science is amazing and we are ALL scientists.

  11. After 30 years of teaching Biology at the high school and AP Bio level, I’m so pleased to see Rosalind Franklin recognized for her amazing contribution to the work of Watson and Crick. I do hope, even though Watson and Crick apparently used less-than-professional tactics, that their contribution is not mocked or depreciated. I always spoke highly of Rosalind Franklin and I demonstrated to my students that sometimes people are difficult, even at the highest academic levels. Students need to learn good “people skills” while they are learning the wonderful history of science, and it seems you are doing just that in your class. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the very fulfilling craft of teaching. Treasure every moment!

  12. Amazing! Former middle school English and history teacher — kids absolutely love doing things like this and they’re really engaged in the learning process! Shows you know how to step back, give the frame and let the students produce their knowledge. Bravo!

  13. Pingback: FFFF: Rosalind Franklin Rap | Gender Focus

  14. Pingback: Franklin no rap contra Watson e Crick | Biologia na Web

  15. Thanks for this. I am teaching revision study techniques to my students as we prepare in class for GCSE examinations (UK). I am using this video as a lesson ‘starter; to give the students an example. I hope they will also follow the link to the materials. Thanks ffor sharing.

  16. This is so awsome, about 5 years ago I wanted to get 4&5 year olds together and do a rap for kids to learn math and spelling for smaller and the same age kids. They seem to be able to remember a rap song but not how to learn anything else. Good going Tom!

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