Top 10 African scientists and their inventions

The scientific community has known discrimination inside out: for example, women were not allowed to work in universities and laboratories, and as for black scientists it was also forbidden to enter to the scientific community. Instead of wasting time on research and experiments, scientists have fought against racism and discrimination.

 So today we are going to tell you about top 10 black inventors, mathematicians and chemists who changed the world.

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Benjamin Banneker


The astronomer, surveyor

He was an astronomer, farmer, politician and surveyor. Benjamin Banneker lived in Maryland in the eighteenth century. His mother was a liberated African woman Mary and his father was a liberated slave Robert from New Guinea. He always demonstrated an unprecedented interest in science. Banneker was working and studying individually during much time. He studied the basics of physics and geography. At his 22, the young scientist could design clocks and other interesting mechanisms and also he helped to be more intelligent.

Later he became famous by his series of astronomical almanacs, which were commercially successful.

In addition, Banneker kept up a correspondence with the father of American democracy - Thomas Jefferson, they were discussing the problem of slavery and racism.

There is no doubt that his life and work was amazing.

Charles Richard Drew


The surgeon

He is the founder of the first world's blood banks, and he devoted his life to medicine. He was lucky to be not only talented scientists, but also to finish two universities, McGill University in Montreal and university in Columbia.

In those days, there weren’t many black students in USA.

Charles has developed a system of transfusion and storage of blood, and thanks to his invention he saved thousands of soldiers lived during the Second World War.

Besides the United States, his invention was also successfully implemented in military medicine in the UK.

Drew gave a lot of effort to convince authorities of the United States that the blood of black people is suitable for transfusion, including to white patients. Despite this fact, the white and black blood were stored separately for a very long time in the blood banks of the USA.

Daniel Hale Williams


The cardiologist


The cardiologist Daniel Williams —it is the second person in the history of medicine, which in 1893 had a successful surgery on the pericardium — the outer membrane of the heart (the first was Henry Dalton). He made his decision very quickly before operation: his patient was delivered to the hospital late in the evening, he was dying. Williams decided to operate early in the morning.

He graduated from the University of Chicago with excellence, but then the laws of Illinois State did not allow working black physicians in public hospitals. Without thinking, the doctor founded his hospital Providence, and later on its basis he established a school for nurses, in which could study mainly the black population of Chicago.

His hospital became very famous among different medical facilities in the country. He founded the Association for African-American doctors, and at the end of his life he was recognized on the state level and he became the honorary President of the National Association of surgeons.

Emmett Chappell

(born in 1954)

The medic and astrophysicist

Dr. Chappell began his career as an assistant Professor at the University of Nashville. Showing remarkable abilities in the natural Sciences, he successfully got a job as a biochemist in the laboratory of Chapelton in 1963, where he made several important discoveries that helped to accelerate the space exploration. Firstly, he noticed that even simple green organisms such as unicellular alga, produce oxygen. This knowledge is used now to protect the lives of astronauts in orbit.

In addition to this, Chappell has been studying the response of living organisms to light and their interaction with environment. His investigations helped NASA to search for life on Mars.

Philip Emegwali

(born in 1954)

The mathematician

The laureate of Goldoni Bella award and award of the Institute of electrical and electronics engineers in New York were interested in mathematical and technological science during all his life. This Nigerian scientist created the Connection Machine – it is a family of supercomputers that can calculate those values, which the human brain can’t calculate.

On the basis of the Polytechnic University of Massachusetts Philip Emegwali worked with the team, which was intended to create an artificial intelligence, but their development weren’t successful in this area, so the scientists switched to high-precision calculations.

Patricia Bath

(born in 1942)

The ophthalmologist

Bath was born in Harlem in a family of African immigrants. Her father had a column in the local newspaper, and in addition he was the first black employee of the New York subway. Her family appreciated her knowledge, and it inspired the girl to apply for a grant from Yeshiva University and win, studying still at school. Then she decided to become a doctor and devote his career on working on problems of vision.

Soon, Patricia has become a doctor of medicine and began working at the American Institute for the prevention of blindness. There she noticed that because of the social divide black people suffer from blindness more often then white people: they just didn't have time for the treatment and prevention of their problems with vision. Bath also opened a charitable clinic.

 Garrett Morgan


The inventor

This man invented the traffic light, gas mask and chemical composition for straightening of curly hair. Morgan invented the traffic light after an accident. In 1923 he patented an "automatic traffic control", and later it was bought by the American Corporation General Electric for $40 million. So, starting with the repair of sewing machines in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morgan ended his life almost blind millionaire, who worked on new inventions until his death.

David Harold Blackwell


The mathematician and economist

The professor of statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, invented the mathematical methods of statistical analysis of financial markets (theorem RAO — Blackwell), which enriched more than a dozen modern brokers and businessmen.

Blackwell began his career teaching Economics at the University of Illinois. After, a young specialist decided not to stop and get his doctorate in Economics.

At the same time his work became interesting to John von Neumann — the mathematician, who has contributed almost all the Sciences of the twentieth century. Blackwell did not take it seriously, because at that time the black scientists were not accepted by the scientific community. It turned out that Neumann was really impressed of him.

The scientist has applied to 105 colleges and universities across the country, which historically took on the job the black people.

Soon, however, Blackwell was invited to take a professorship at the Berkeley University, where he worked until the end of his life.

Percy Julian


The chemist

This chemist investigated the synthesis of hormones and other substances from plants, and then he received the novocaine, which replaced the alkaloid cocaine. Of course, as it often happened in the history of science, previously the novocaine got a Russian chemist of Jewish origin - Anatoly Einhorn, but it was patented by Julian and his team. He also synthesized the testosterone, progesterone and some steroids and spent a part of his life working on hormonal pills.

In American history, this scientist became one of the most important figures in the fight for the entitlement of the black population. In 1973 he received the title of honorary member of the American Academy of Sciences.



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