Most Famous Black Scientists

Black Scientists

Black Scientists have been a part of advancing humanity by using their inventions for good. While some black scientists are famous and well known, others are not. Here are a few of the most famous African/ Black Scientists:

1. George Washington Carver:

He lived between 1860- January 5, 1943. He was a teacher and botanist. Though he started his life as an enslaved person, he made an impact by inventing methods to prevent soil depletion. George had great agriculture and nutrition ideas making him one of the most well-known African American Scientists. He was one of the first blacks to be a member of the British Royal Society.

Read about Black Inventors here.

2. Percy Julian:

Percy was active between the years 1899-1975. He was a Civil Right Activist. He contributed to Science by creating steroids, birth control pills, and other medicinal products and medicines from plants.   A rare talent made him one of the most outstanding scientists ever and earned him a place in the Medical Chemistry Society.

3. Mae Carol Jenison:

Mae Carol was the first African American woman to travel in space around September 12, 1992. 

 On October 17, 1956, her scientific role created more impact. Also, It acknowledged women as fit for men’s functions and fulfilled the familiar adage: “What a man can do, a woman can do better.”

4. Katherine Johnson

August 26, 1918. Another remarkable woman was not only a renowned mathematician but also a great contributor to aeronautics and space programs.
Thanks to her, her calculations and applications were made accessible during the early usage of digital computers. Her work is featured in the movie ‘Hidden Figure’.

5. Gladys West: 

As a mathematician, Gladys used her scientific skill to create a model of the Earth. She developed the Global Position System (GPS). Because of her outstanding work, the Airforce honoured her with one of the highest honours.

6. Marie M. Daly: 

Marie lived between 1921 till 2003. She was a chemist and had a PhD in Chemistry, making her the first African woman to receive a PH. D in the field in the United States. Alongside others, they helped us understand better how diet affects the Heart and Circulatory System.

7. Edward Bouchet: 

He lived from September 15, 1852, to October 28, 1815. He was an educator and physicist specifically known to be the first black American to hold a PhD, let alone two PhDs, from an American University. This made him part of a small group of people who had accomplished this at the time. He no doubt played some roles in the Physics line, of course.

8. Annie Casley: 

Between April 23, 1933, till June 25, 2011. Annie was known as a human computer, She worked at NASA, performing calculations and complex tasks meant to be completed by the computer. She had remarkable intelligence in mathematical calculations and other computer codes.

9. St. Elmo Brady: 

Born December 22, 1884. He worked in Organic Chemistry. After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, he took a teaching job. He then became the first African American to receive a doctorate in Chemistry after furthering his studies. He specialised in organic chemistry and received an Honours for his contribution in the field.

10. Doctor Betty Harris:

Born July 29, 1940, she held a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and later a Master’s in 1963 from Atlanta.
Working as an assistant professor in Chemistry at Valley State University she specialised in creating and so recognising explosives and nuclear weapons. Military and civil institutions worldwide have adopted her contributions.


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