Yesterday, November 20th, National Black Consciousness Day was celebrated and Gizmodo Brasil featured 6 profiles of Brazilian black scientists who broke barriers. Today, we are going into this area with worldwide references.
When it comes to the history of American space exploration, for example, it’s all too easy to miss the white astronauts who first set foot on the Moon, but the story of the black women who calculated NASA by hand. America’s first astronauts aren’t well known—even though, in 2017, the movie “Stars Beyond Time” featured these women.
Like him, many black scientists deserve to be known and recognized for their incredible achievements. check out:
Mae Jameson, the first black woman in space
Mai Carol Jameson is an American physician, engineer, and former astronaut. She was the first black woman to go into space, when she served as a mission specialist on the spacecraft Endeavor.
Jameson earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and then a degree in medicine from Cornell University. In 1987, he joined the NASA team after a lengthy selection process: out of two thousand candidates, he was one of 15 selected.
Katherine Johnson, NASA scientist
Johnson was one of the American NASA scientists who attributed the calculations at hand to getting the first American astronaut into Earth orbit, which contributed to bringing humans to the Moon with the Apollo program.
She joined NASA at age 35, a position initially reserved only for white women. But from 1940 onwards, they began hiring black people working in a separate ward called the “West Area Computer” in the “Color Computer” room.
In 1960, Catherine signed her first report and became the first woman in her field to receive research credit. He wrote 26 space reports and participated in the development of the Space Shuttle until retiring in 1986 at the age of 68.
In recognition of his more than 30 years of work in the space agency, Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in 2015. His story is featured in the film “Stars Beyond Time”, 2017. The scientist passed away in February 2020 at the age of 101.
Patricia Bath, first black woman to file medical patent
Bath was the pioneer physician who created the most accurate treatment for glaucoma. In addition to being the first black woman to file a medical patent.
The ophthalmologist also founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and his professional attitude was instrumental in expanding the provision of eye care services to poor communities. Bath died of cancer in 2019 at the age of 76. But his story and his quest are still alive.
Mary Maynard Daly, a pioneer in the study of cholesterol
If it is possible to know the effects of cholesterol and sugar on the heart today, it is thanks to Dr. Mary Maynard Daly, the lead doctor in the study. She was the first black woman in America to earn a doctorate in chemistry. He graduated with honors from Queens College, New York in 1942, and a year later completed his master’s in chemistry.
But it was during his PhD that Daly discovered how the compounds produced internally help with digestion. He spent most of his career as a teacher and researching the cell nucleus. They also found a link between high cholesterol and clogged arteries, which helped the study of heart disease.
George Washington Carver, Inventor of Autodata
Active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this scientist and inventor was known for discovering a hundred uses for peanuts. But this is just a taste of the work of this genius and his great contribution to science.
The son of slaves, Cavar was separated from his family after being kidnapped and then raised by the couple who had bought him from his parents. In Mississippi, he struggled to find a school that would accept black students. Carver was self-taught, conducted biological experiments on his own, and years later earned a master’s degree in botany program at Iowa State Agricultural College, where he became known as a prolific scientist.
At the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute for Blacks, Carver developed methods of crop rotation that revolutionized South American agriculture. It educated farmers about ways to alternate soil-destroying cotton crops with soil-enriching crops such as peanuts, peas, soybeans, sweet potatoes and walnuts.