Who is one of the female innovators you work alongside in the field of industrial biotechnology that impresses you? Don’t tell us, nominate them for the Rosalind Franklin Award, which will be handed out at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Des Moines this summer, an event we are media partners with.

Just as Rosalind Franklin paved the way for women in the biotechnology field, the BIO Rosalind Franklin Award will be presented to a pioneering woman in the industrial biotechnology and agriculture sector who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the biobased economy and biotech innovation. The Rosalind Franklin Award will stand as a lasting memory to the legacy left by Rosalind Franklin, who was instrumental in the discovery and our greater understanding of the molecular structure of DNA, by honouring those women who too have made significant contributions in industrial biotechnology and agriculture. Through Rosalind Franklin’s use of X-ray diffraction images, the true double helix structure of DNA was discovered. Indeed, it was with the help of Franklin’s images and writings that eventually led Francis Crick and James Watson to release their 1953 model of the structure of DNA. Though often overlooked, Rosalind Franklin’s critical work and discovery in the field has allowed the expansive growth of the biotechnology industry to become what it is today. As said by John Desmond Bernal, a fellow X-ray crystallographer, of Franklin’s crystallographic portraits of DNA, “Her photographs were among the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.” – the award web page states.

Nominate a colleague you think should win by 2 April. The Congress itself takes place from 8 to 11 July.