Raymond Gosling

British physicist (1926-2015)

Raymond Gosling (15 July 1926 – 18 May 2015) was a British biophysicist. He was known for doing X-ray diffraction studies on DNA. These studies were the first step in understanding the 3-D structure of DNA. He did these studies as a doctoral student in the research group headed by Maurice Wilkins at Kings College London.[1][2]

Gosling in 2003

Gosling's first supervisor was A.R. Stokes of the Physics Department. By 1950, Gosling's diffraction photographs were described by Wilkins at the time as "much better than Astbury's, and almost like single crystals".[3]

Gosling was re-assigned to Rosalind Franklin when she joined Wilkins' group in 1951. For the next two years, they worked closely together to improve the X-ray diffraction photography of DNA and get a sharper image. Gosling made the X-ray diffraction image of DNA known as "Photo 51".[4] This work led directly to the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine being awarded to Francis Crick, James D. Watson and Maurice Wilkins. Gosling was the co-author with Franklin of one of the three DNA double helix papers published in Nature in April 1953.[5]

Gosling died in London at 88 on 18 May 2015.[6]


  1. Wilkins M; Gosling R. & Seeds W. 1951 (1951). "Physical studies of nucleic acid". Nature. 167 (4254): 759–760. Bibcode:1951Natur.167..759W. doi:10.1038/167759a0. PMID 14833383. S2CID 4298106.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. Gosling R. et al 2011 (2011). "Seven ages of the PhD". Nature. 472 (7343): 283–286. Bibcode:2011Natur.472..283G. doi:10.1038/472283a. PMID 21512550. S2CID 4416716.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. Wilkins M.H.F. 1950. Letter to Markham, 15 June 1950, quoted in Olby, Robert 1974. The path to the double helix. Seattle: Unversity of Washington Prss, 333/4. ISBN 0-295-95359-4
  4. "Due credit". Nature. 496 (7445): 270. 2013. doi:10.1038/496270a. PMID 23607133.
  5. Franklin R.E. & Gosling R.G. 1953 (1953). "Molecular configuration in sodium thymonucleate". Nature. 171 (4356): 740–741. Bibcode:1953Natur.171..740F. doi:10.1038/171740a0. PMID 13054694. S2CID 4268222.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. Professor Raymond Gosling

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