5 African-American Scientists You Need To Know

For some, their knowledge of African-American scientists include Neil deGrasse Tyson, George Washington Carver and…that’s about it.  There have been countless African-Americans whose contributions have greatly impacted the science field, but these five are definitely among those you need to know and celebrate!


Mae C. Jemison

Jemison has been a physician and served in the Peace Corps, but her biggest claim to fame is being the first African-American woman to travel in space as part of 1992’s NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.


George Carruthers

Speaking of NASA, Carruthers invented the spectrograph, a special camera that captures UV images that help examines the aspects of Earth’s atmosphere and was sent to the moon on the Apollo 16 mission.


Percy Julian

Percy Julian was a pioneer chemist who is best known for his work in synthesizing various hormones that led to the creation of cortisone and corticosteroids, as well as lay the groundwork for birth control pills.


Patricia Bath

Know someone who’s received treatment for cataracts?  You can likely thank Patricia Bath for their improved sight.  Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe in 1986 and was the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical device.


Lonnie G. Johnson

Johnson is an engineer who’s worked for the U.S. Air Force and NASA, but he’s also an inventor, and kids that grew up in the 90’s should really thank him for inventing the best water gun ever, the Super Soaker.