February is African American History Month. In celebration of this event here are a few great African American scientists:
George Washington Carver- From cosmetics to gasoline, Carver found more uses for the peanut than you might imagine. Carver moved around quite a bit as a youth and often did a variety of odd jobs. With this well-rounded education, both practical and from formal colleges like Simpson and the Agricultural College in Ames Iowa, he used his knowledge of chemistry and agriculture to try to improve the situation for poor southern farmers.
Percy Lavon Julian - Julian discovered a method to extract hormones and steroids from plants. This discovery brought the cost of medicine down significantly and helped with everything from relieving glaucoma to helping with fertility. He also invented a fire fighting foam that was used in World War II.
Annie J. Easly - Best known for her work on the NASA Centaur rocket project, Easly joined NASA at the beginning of the space age. She wrote computer code that evaluated substitute power technologies, helped launch Centaur, identified wind, solar and other energy projects for NACA (now called NASA). She also helped invent other systems to solve energy problems.
Want to know more? Check out our online database: Science in Context