The Franklin Effect

Franklin looks in a microscope

A Minerva Scientifica Performance Programme with a flexible format perfect  for music and science festivals, exhibitions and conferences as well as traditional arts venues, schools and rural touring, with optional Outreach Projects on Science and Singing for children (8+) and adults.

The Franklin Effect was inspired by the work of the X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, a King’s alumna. Her Photograph 51, taken at King’s, enabled Crick and Watson to recognise the double-helix structure of DNA, for which they won a Nobel Prize. Her contribution was not acknowledged.

Minerva Scientifica – The Franklin Effect includes a variety of music developed out of workshops and outreach projects as well as the main commissioned work  – “The Franklin Effect”  – which forms the heart of this programme. It is a major work by four composers mentored by Judith Weir  (Master of the Queen’s Music), developed with four scientists at Kings College, London and four singers from electric voice theatre in 2015.

“The Franklin Effect”

a set of variations on the theme of Rosalind Franklin for vocal quartet and speaker
first performed by electric voice theatre at Kings College London, Strand Chapel, 22nd October 2015

Photo 51   Cheryl FRANCES-HOAD 
with Prof. Elizabeth Kuipers (Professor Emerita of Clinical Psychology)
K-Ras  Lynne PLOWMAN
                 with Dr Claire Sharpe (Clinical Senior Lecturer in Renal Sciences, Hon. Consultant Nephrologist)
Life Sequences  Shirley J. THOMPSON
                  with Prof. Ellen Solomon (Prince Philip Professor of Human Genetics)
Theories of Quantum Mechanics  Kate WHITLEY
                   with Prof. Mairi Sakellariadou (Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist)

The Franklin Effect “The Franklin Effect” is framed by a script by Frances M Lynch adapted from  the words of Dr Rosalind Franklin, William Shakespeare, Prof. James Watson, Prof. Francis Crick, Muriel Frances Waley, Prof. Elizabeth Kuipers, Dr  Claire Sharpe, Prof. Ellen Solomon and Prof. Mairi  Sakellariadou

A CD also featuring further works created for the outreach projects is now available to buy through First Hand Records. The video below is a sampler for this CD.

Minerva Scientifica – The Franklin Effect  

Outreach Projects on Science and Singingaidience-wam-up-with-penny

All of the workshops are framed to elucidate the science and music in the performance programme, and all are tailored to each individual situation – Cross Curricular in schools and universities and reflecting the interests of community groups of all ages; led by scientists, singers and composers as appropriate and range from 1 day  to 1 term in length.

There are also some special workshops on offer at Museum of Life Sciences, King’s College London,  in partnership with Curator Dr. Gillian Sales and Professor Brian Sutton, Professor of Molecular Biophysics, Xray Crystallography, DNA, Franklin Expert – including The DNA of EVOLUTION and The DNA of ANIMAL SOUND.
The Partnership seeks to work with students and teachers to create their own vocal-dramatic works, examining the influences of DNA on evolution through the museum exhibits, including their art exhibition on Rosalind Franklin and DNA.

Please contact us directly for more details of how to make the programme and outreach work for you

You can see some of our work with the Museum featured during British Science Week 2016 on this video (we appear  at 3′ 41″)

Minerva Scientifica:- Performance ProgrammesʻThis is a unique project which focuses on the hidden reputation of pioneering women scientists through bringing together the worlds of high level contemporary science and first class contemporary music-making. This results in an uplifting experience in which two completely different forms of understanding, expression, and expertise form an exponentially wider view of the world, reaching us simultaneously through rational thinking and story, empirical experiment and emotive sound.ʼ   (Siân Ede, author of Art & Science)

The Franklin Effect is part of Minerva Scientifica, an evolving performance, research and education programme reflecting the lives and work of British women scientists, from past and present, told through the music of British women composers.

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