COSAM News Articles 2020 November Register for OurSTEMstory: Did Watson and Crick Commit Intellectual Property Theft?

Register for OurSTEMstory: Did Watson and Crick Commit Intellectual Property Theft?

Published: 11/05/2020

By: Cori Black

The OurSTEMStory committee asks you to join us for the conversation ‘Did Dr. James Watson and Dr. Francis Crick Commit Intellectual Property Theft?’ with Dr. Ram Seshadri, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UCSB. 

The event will take place on Monday November 30th at 3pm (CT). Please register to join us at and check out our website at

——— Details about OurSTEMstory ——— 

The road to modern medicine and research was not always paved with respect for life, liberty, or property, and we are choosing to address the more distasteful acts conducted in the name of research and advancement by having conversations about them. We have developed a seminar series in efforts to educate both current and future scientists, as well as the public on research ethics. The series, entitled, OurSTEMstory, is designed to have a keynote speaker on research ethics topics followed by deep analysis and conversation on a historical or current case study serving as an example as to how the topic was violated.   

The name "OurSTEMstory" is an adaptation of the famed "#HERstory" campaign launched by Empower Women in collaboration with Global Champions for Women’s Economic Empowerment that was designed to highlight the contributions of women to the advancement of humanity. Similarly to the manner in which #HERstory was designed to raise awareness about the contributions of women to humanity, "OurSTEMstory," is designed to raise awareness about the contributions of groups historically excluded in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Modern medicine and society have benefitted from the consensual and nonconsensual contributions of historically excluded groups in STEM, and we want to highlight their stories while also acknowledging any unethical missteps taken in the name of advancing research and knowledge.    

The seminar series will include live Q&A for audience members to interact with Keynote Speakers. The seminar will also include guided discussion and live chat to allow audience members to work together in efforts to promote further engagement and discussion while reflecting on the research ethics topic of interest as well as what has been shared by the Keynote speaker. Participants will be given a short list of OPTIONAL yet recommended materials consisting of documentaries, books, and additional resources to prepare them for the discussion. 

The current materials for the meeting's topic are as follows: 

1) Editorial: Cobb, Matthew. “Sexism in Science: Did Watson and Crick Really Steal Rosalind Franklin's Data?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 23 June 2015,

2) Documentary: "Secret of Photo 51". Nova. 2003. Film. 

3) Book: Maddox, Brenda. Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of Dna. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Print. 

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