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Thomas O. Fox and Jocelyn Spragg

scientist and educator, was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey, the second of nine children, to Howard R. Amos Sr., a Philadelphia postman, and Iola Johnson, who had been adopted by and worked for a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family who schooled her with their own children at home. This family remained lifelong friends of Iola and kept the young Amos family well supplied with books, including a biography of Louis Pasteur, which piqued Harold's interest in science in the fourth grade. Both Howard and Iola expected their children to be serious about their education and to excel academically. Harold, along with his siblings, took piano lessons and remained a competent amateur pianist. He also gained a reputation as an excellent tennis player.

Harold received his early education in a segregated school in Pennsauken then graduated first in his class from Camden High School in New Jersey He ...

Article

Lisa Clayton Robinson

Jewel Plummer Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois. By her sophomore year in high school, she had begun to work toward her goal of becoming a biologist. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from Talladega College in Alabama in 1944. She then studied cell physiology at New York University, earning a master's degree in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1950.

Cobb continued her research at several different universities and eventually became involved in university administration. She was president of California State University at Fullerton and dean at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, Connecticut College, and Douglass College in New Jersey. Cobb became trustee professor of the California State University System in 1990. In 2001 she received the Reginald Wilson Award from the American Council on Education Office of Minorities in Higher Education for her career achievements in promoting diversity in higher education Cobb ...

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Benjamin A. Jackson

research biologist, educator, and college administrator, was born in Chicago. Her mother, Carriebel Cole, was a physical education teacher who taught interpretive dance in the public schools. Her father, Frank Victor Plummer, a physician, graduated from Cornell University in 1908 and subsequently from Rush Medical School in Chicago. He was an early member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first national Greek letter fraternity for black men.

The Plummer family strongly emphasized education Cobb s parents circle of friends included black writers historians and artists As a member of the upper middle class she enjoyed many more educational cultural and social advantages than did most African American children of that era She had access to a library in her home that included scientific texts belonging to her father Not surprisingly Cobb developed an early interest in science Her interest in biology developed when she was a high school sophomore ...

Article

Audra J. Wolfe

protozoologist and microscopist, was born in Palatka, Florida, the son of Lugenia Bryant and Eugene Finley. As a high school student at Central Academy in Palatka, Finley played trumpet for Al Osgood's Hot Five, a local jazz band.

In 1928 he completed a BS in Biology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, to pursue graduate work in zoology under the direction of Lowell E. Noland. Although he would eventually return to Madison to finish his PhD, financial pressures forced Finley to leave the university with his master's in 1929. He married Eva Elizabeth Browning on 30 August that same year. They had two children, Harold Eugene and Eva Kathleen.

Finley's teaching career began in the biology department at West Virginia State College, where he served first as an instructor and later as associate professor. In 1938 he returned to ...

Article

Peter Fraser

Eugenicist and statistician. A cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton's interests in statistics (he founded the science of biostatistics) and genetics led him to the idea that selective breeding to improve the human race would lead to the development of ‘a galaxy of genius’. He first set out these thoughts in an article published in 1865 but at the same time demonstrated that his views on the differences between ‘races’ was conventional: to him Africans were lazy, stupid, and cruel. The basic theory that underlay his political eugenics programme was that, heredity being more important than environment, selective breeding was the only way to improve humanity.

His lasting legacies were his use of statistics and his research into heredity but he is best known for his eugenics programme Though his own interpretation of eugenics tended to be fairly benign focusing on research into hereditary disease or supporting the intelligent ...

Article

Eric Bennett

Jane Goodall, the daughter of an engineer father and a novelist mother, was born in London, England. She had not received any college training in biology before taking her first trip to Africa as a tourist at the age of twenty-three. She went to Kenya, where she met paleontologist and anthropologist Louis Leakey. Goodall was a passionate amateur natural historian, and Leakey hired her as his assistant. In 1960, with Leakey's help, Goodall established a camp in the Gombe Stream Game Reserve in Tanzania, from which she ventured out each day to observe chimpanzees.

During the early 1960s, with extreme patience and slow progress, Goodall became acquainted with a group of chimpanzees on the shores of Lake Tanganyika By winning their trust Goodall was able to sit among them observing a hitherto undiscovered complexity of their relationships Goodall learned that chimpanzees maintain specific social ...

Article

was born in Buenaventura on the Pacific coast of Colombia in the mid-1950s. He was one of the eight children of Heladio Ibarguen and Indelira Palomino. In 1974 he graduated from the Pascual de Andagoya secondary school, and that same year he took the entrance exams at the National University of Colombia, the Bogotá campus, in order to study biology. Because of his extremely high score on the entrance exam, he was offered admission to the more selective school of medicine, but turned down that offer after deciding that his real desire was to study biology.

In 1977 while in the third year of his degree the National University of Colombia closed For this reason Heladio decided to move to the city of Cali and continue his studies as a biologist at the University of Valle In Cali he met the Colombian microbiologist and inventor Raúl Cuero with whom ...

Article

Charles W. Jr. Carey

cell biologist and professor, was born in Halifax, North Carolina, to Maynard and Lillie Langford, farmers. As a young boy, he exhibited an intense curiosity about the plants and animals on his family's farm, a curiosity that eventually developed into the desire to become a biology teacher. In 1966 he received a BS in Biology from Fayetteville State University, a historically black college in North Carolina, and entered the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he received an MS in Zoology in 1969 and a PhD in Cell Biology in 1971. After two years of postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, he accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Six years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., to teach biology at Howard University College of Medicine; but he left in 1979 to become a professor of cell physiology at the University ...

Article

Vernon J. Williams

biologist, university administrator, and public policy maker, was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of James Madison Nabrit, a Baptist minister and educator, and Augusta Gertrude West. The elder Nabrit, who taught at Central City College and later at Walker Baptist Institute, encouraged his son to prepare for a career in higher education by studying Latin, Greek, and physics. Samuel rounded out his education by playing football and baseball, and honed his managerial and journalistic skills working on his high school (and later college) student newspaper. He entered Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1921, and after receiving a traditional liberal arts education, was awarded a BS in 1925. Samuel's brother, James Madison Nabrit Jr., was an important aide in the NAACP's legal team during the 1950s. Working closely with Thurgood Marshall in his unsuccessful attempts to begin the desegregation of graduate ...

Article

Rosalyn Mitchell Patterson

professor of biology and research neuroembryologist, was born Mary Logan Reddick in Atlanta, Georgia, to Fielder Reddick, a postal clerk, and Maggie L. Reddick, a homemaker. In 1929, at the age of fifteen, Reddick graduated from the Laboratory High School of Spelman College; she received the bachelor of arts in Biology from Spelman College in 1935. She was awarded the master of science in biology at Atlanta University in 1937 and later attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University, where she received the master of arts degree in 1943 and the PhD in Zoology with specialization in Neuroembryology in 1944.

In the late 1930s before entering Radcliffe Reddick began her career as teacher and research scientist in the Atlanta University Center initially a consortium of Morehouse College Spelman College and the graduate school of Atlanta University While studying for the MS degree at Atlanta University Reddick ...

Article

Kenneth R. Manning

Charles Henry Turner was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Thomas Turner, a church custodian, and Adeline Campbell, a nurse. Although neither parent had attended college, Thomas Turner would eventually earn a reputation as “a well-read man, a keen thinker, and a master of debate [who] surrounded himself with several hundred choice books.” Both parents, but especially the father, imparted a love of learning to young Charles. After graduating valedictorian of his high school class in Cincinnati, he proceeded to the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a B.S. in 1891 and an M.S. in 1892. His goal was to teach science and ultimately to head a technological or agricultural school for African Americans. As an undergraduate he came under the influence of Clarence Luther Herrick, a professor of biology at Cincinnati and pioneer in the field of psychobiology. When Herrick established the Journal ...

Article

Kenneth R. Manning

biologist and educator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Thomas Turner, a church custodian, and Adeline Campbell, a nurse. Although neither parent had attended college, Thomas Turner would eventually earn a reputation as “a well-read man, a keen thinker, and a master of debate [who] surrounded himself with several hundred choice books.” Both parents, but especially the father, imparted a love of learning to young Charles. After graduating valedictorian of his high school class in Cincinnati, he proceeded to the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a BS in 1891 and an MS in 1892. His goal was to teach science and ultimately to head a technological or agricultural school for African Americans. As an undergraduate he came under the influence of Clarence Luther Herrick, a professor of biology at Cincinnati and pioneer in the field of psychobiology. When Herrick established the Journal ...

Article

Mary Krane Derr

biologist, civic leader, and minority education and career consultant, was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, to Oscar Pittman and Susie King Pittman. Throughout her life she was often called “Jerry.” Despite both Pittman's parents leaving school after eighth grade, they became prosperous through their lumber business, farms, restaurants, and rental properties. However, they urged Pittman to obtain as much formal education as she possibly could. Through the end of third grade, she attended a private school run by the Episcopal church, then transferred to Industrial High School (apparently taking a grade-level curriculum) because no other public school in her hometown permitted black students.

Although she enjoyed science she had some learning difficulties at school and for her family and teachers a science career for a young black woman was not on the radar However she was an avid reader and an active participant in ...