It's also worth noting that Francis Crick wished to give Rosalind Franklin greater credit, but didn't due to the personality conflicts between Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin:
Moreover, she became great close friends with Watson and with Crick. But sheâ(TM)s unlikelyâ"if in fact she felt they had stolen her discovery. She must have known that they were using her data because there were no other dataâ"her data are acknowledged in Crickâ(TM)s paper. And again, in the second paper he published in Nature a month later. What prevented Crick from giving a much fairer acknowledgment to Rosalind Franklin in the original Nature paper, which he wished to do, was that he to negotiate this with Wilkins.
So in his original draft is, he says, "We thank Rosalind Franklin for her beautiful uh photo of DNA," which makes quite clear that this was what he was relying on. Now, at Wilkinsâ(TM) suggestion he crossed out the phrase "beautiful photo." So it was not an adequate acknowledgment but it was a very different story than stealing her discovery, which is the way it has been portrayed.
Elkin: Nicholas, you are absolutely right. There was an earlier, more accurate acknowledgment. It wasnâ(TM)t to Franklin, it was to Wilkins and Franklin and it did say "very beautiful photographs" which only meant Franklinâ(TM)s. And Wilkins was the one who crossed it out. There are actually six drafts. Very interesting to see that.
And also to see how weak, false, even the first two or three were, before Wilkins got it to decimate it more compared to the draft they wrote about the first model, where they very very clearly acknowledged Franklin.