Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us

  • Percy Lavon Julian (1899 - 1975) 

    Percy JulianDr. Percy Julian was not only one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, he was a leader in civil rights and a businessman. He refused to let racial discrimination prevent him from reaching his goals.  His pioneering research led to ways to create important medicinal compounds from plant sources, making them affordable for mass production.  His discoveries have helped those with glaucoma and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.  He also developed, Aer-o-foam, a fire-retardant foam which saved thousands of lives in World War II.  In 1973 Dr. Julian was awarded membership into the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, only the second African American to receive this honor.

  • February 25, 2021

  • Source:  Science History Institute; PBS, NOVA; American Chemical Society