As a way to celebrate Black History Month, ADVANCE is highlighting a different person every day who has made contributions to STEM in the past and present. This week we are featuring the following:
Dr. Marie M. Daly: First Black woman to obtain a Ph.D in chemistry in the US. She discovered the relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease.
Dr. Warren Washington: Distinguished climate scientist and former chair of the National Science Board. He developed one of the first atmospheric computer models of Earth’s climate.
Katherine Johnson: A school teacher who joined NACA (today’s NASA) as a “human computer”. Her calculations helped sync Apollo’s Lunar Landing Module with the Command and Service Module. She was featured in “Hidden Figures.”
Dr. Percy Julian: A pioneering chemist whose synthesis of a chemical called physostigmine, which was used to treat glaucoma, is “one of the top 25 greatest achievements in the history of American chemistry.”
Lyda Newman: An inventor who patented a new type of hairbrush that was specifically for African American hair. The hairbrush was the first to have entirely synthetic bristles. Her invention made it cheaper and quicker to manufacture hair brushes. She was the 3rd Black woman to ever receive a patent.
Vivien Thomas: A researcher who was paid as a janitor while doing amazing doctoral research. He developed a surgery that would successfully help save the lives of infants born with Tetralogy of Fallot.