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Raymond George Gosling (15 July 1926 – 18 May 2015) was a British scientist. While a PhD student at King's College, London he worked under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin. Their crystallographic experiments, together with those of Maurice Wilkins of the same laboratory, produced data that helped James Watson and Francis Crick to infer the structure of DNA.

Raymond Gosling
Raymond Gosling.jpg
Professor Raymond Gosling in 2003 "DNA at King's – the continuing story: 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA"
Born(1926-07-15)15 July 1926
Wembley, London, England
Died18 May 2015(2015-05-18) (aged 88)[1]
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity College London
King's College London
Known forDNA
Scientific career
InstitutionsKing's College London

Early yearsEdit

He was born in 1926 and attended school in Wembley. He studied physics at University College London from 1944 to 1947 and became a hospital physicist at the King's Fund and Middlesex Hospital between 1947 and 1949 before joining King's College London as a research student, from which he eventually received his PhD.[2]


Work at King's College London and DNAEdit

At King's College London, Gosling worked on X-ray diffraction with Maurice Wilkins,[3] analysing samples of DNA which they prepared by hydrating and drawing out into thin filaments and photographing in a hydrogen atmosphere.[1] He made the first x-ray diffraction image of crystallized DNA. His comment on this discovery was "I must be the first person ever to make genes crystallize"[4], although he was probably unaware of the prior work of Florence Bell.

Gosling was then reassigned to work with Rosalind Franklin when she joined King's College in 1951. They worked under the direction of Sir John Randall,[5] who was convinced that DNA was the material which transmitted the generic code.[4]

With Franklin, they produced the first X-ray diffraction photographs of the "form B" paracrystalline arrays of highly hydrated DNA. During the next two years, the pair worked closely together to perfect the technique of x-ray diffraction photography of DNA and obtained at the time the sharpest diffraction images of DNA. Gosling made the X-ray diffraction image of DNA known as Photograph 51.[6] This work led directly to the 1962 Nobel Prize for 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.[7]

His other King's colleagues included Alex Stokes and Herbert Wilson.

Work following Kings CollegeEdit

Gosling briefly remained at King's College following the completion of his thesis in 1954 before lecturing in physics at Queen's College, University of St Andrews, and then at the University of the West Indies.[2]

Work at Guy's HospitalEdit

He returned to the UK in 1967 and became Lecturer and Reader at Guy's Hospital Medical School, and Professor and Emeritus Professor in Physics Applied to Medicine from 1984. Here he helped develop the underlying basic medical science and technology for haemodynamic doppler ultrasound vascular assessment in the Non Invasive Angiology Group, and set up the clinical Ultrasonic Angiology Unit.[8][9][10][11]

Gosling served on numerous committees of the University of London, notably relating to radiological science, and retained an active professional involvement in medical physics almost to the end of his life.

Personal backgroundEdit

Gosling was married to his wife Mary; they had four sons, the eldest of whom is the furniture designer Tim Gosling. Raymond Gosling died at the age of 88 on 18 May 2015.[1][12]


  1. ^ a b c "Professor Raymond Gosling, DNA scientist - obituary", The Telegraph, 22 May 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Raymond Gosling (1926-2015)". King's Collections. King's College London. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  3. ^ Wilkins, M.; Gosling, R.; Seeds, W. (1951). "Physical studies of nucleic acid". Nature. 167 (4254): 759–760. Bibcode:1951Natur.167..759W. doi:10.1038/167759a0. PMID 14833383.
  4. ^ a b Attar, N (2013). "Raymond Goslin: the man who crystallized genes". Genome Biology. 14 (4): 402. doi:10.1186/gb-2013-14-1-402. PMC 3663117. PMID 23651528.
  5. ^ Gosling, R.; Tickle, C.; Running, S. W.; Tandong, Y.; Dinnyes, A.; Osowole, A. A.; Cule, E. (2011). "Seven ages of the PhD". Nature. 472 (7343): 283–286. Bibcode:2011Natur.472..283G. doi:10.1038/472283a.
  6. ^ "Due credit". Nature. 496: 270. 18 April 2013. doi:10.1038/496270a.
  7. ^ Franklin, R. E.; Gosling, R. G. (1953). "Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate". Nature. 171 (4356): 740–741. Bibcode:1953Natur.171..740F. doi:10.1038/171740a0. PMID 13054694.
  8. ^ Side, C. D.; Gosling, R. G. (1971). "Non-surgical Assessment of Cardiac Function". Nature. 232 (5309): 335–336. Bibcode:1971Natur.232..335S. doi:10.1038/232335a0. PMID 5094838.
  9. ^ Laogun, A. A.; Gosling, R. G. (1982). "In vivo arterial compliance in man". Clinical Physics and Physiological Measurement. 3 (3): 201–212. Bibcode:1982CPPM....3..201L. doi:10.1088/0143-0815/3/3/004. PMID 7140158.
  10. ^ Kontis, S.; Gosling, R. G. (1987). "A computerized method for processing of spectrally analysed Doppler-shifted signals from insonated arteries". Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology. 11 (3): 108–112. doi:10.3109/03091908709018151.
  11. ^ Baskett, J. J.; Lewis, R. R.; Beasley, M. G.; Gosling, R. G. (1990). "Changes in Carotid Artery Compliance with Age". Age and Ageing. 19 (4): 241–246. doi:10.1093/ageing/19.4.241. PMID 2220482. - Abstract
  12. ^ Professor Raymond Gosling, The Times, May 20 2015.

External linksEdit