African Americans in Science

Daniel Hale Williams
Daniel Hale Williams. Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

African Americans have made significant contributions to various areas of science. In the field of chemistry, African Americans have developed synthetic drugs for the treatment of chronic ailments. In the field of physics, African Americans have helped to invent laser devices for the treatment of cancer patients. In the field of medicine, African Americans have developed treatments for various diseases including leprosy, cancer, and syphilis.

African Americans in Science

Below is a list of African American scientists and information on the accomplishments and contributions each person has made to science and humanity.

  • Otis Boykin
    DOB: (1920 - 1982)
    Major Accomplishments: He invented 28 electronic devices including the control unit for the heart pacemaker.
    More information: Otis Boykin
  • Dr. Ben Carson
    DOB: (1950 - )
    Major Accomplishments: This neurosurgeon and professor led a medical team that became the first to separate Siamese twins successfully.
    More information: Dr. Ben Carson
  • Emmett W. Chappelle
    DOB: (1925 - )
    Major Accomplishments: This biochemist worked for NASA and discovered a method for detecting bacteria in water, food, and body fluids through studies of bioluminescence.
    More information: Emmett W. Chappelle
  • Dr. Charles Drew
    DOB: (1904 -1950)
    Major Accomplishments: Best known for his work with blood plasma, he helped set up the American Red Cross blood bank. He also established the first blood bank in England.
    More information: Charles Drew
    • Dr. Lloyd Hall
      DOB: (1894 - 1971)
      Major Accomplishments: His work in food sterilization and preservation improved processes in food packing and preparation.
      More information: Lloyd Hall
    • Dr. Percy Julian
      DOB: (1899 - 1975)
      Major Accomplishments: He is known for developing synthetic steroids for use in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
      More information: Percy Julian
      • Dr. Charles Turner
        DOB: (1867-1923)
        Major Accomplishments: This zoologist is known for his work with insects. He was the first to demonstrate that insects can hear.
        More information: Charles Turner
      • Dr. Daniel Hale Williams
        DOB: (1856-1931)
        Major Accomplishments: He founded the Provident Hospital in Chicago. In 1893, he performed the first successful open heart surgery.
        More information: Daniel Hale Williams


      Other African American Scientists and Inventors

      The following table includes more information on African American scientists and inventors.


      African American Scientists and Inventors
      Bessie BlountDeveloped device to help disabled persons eat.
      Phil BrooksDeveloped the disposable syringe.
      Michael CroslinDeveloped the computerized blood pressure machine.
      Dewey SandersonInvented the urinalysis machine.
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      Your Citation
      Bailey, Regina. "African Americans in Science." ThoughtCo, Jan. 16, 2016, Bailey, Regina. (2016, January 16). African Americans in Science. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "African Americans in Science." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 21, 2018).