Cover image for African American firsts in science & technology
Title:
African American firsts in science & technology
Author:
Webster, Raymond B.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale Group, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xiii, 462 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Summary:
Presents capsule accounts of notable first achievements by African Americans, arranged in the categories "Agriculture and Everyday Life, " "Dentistry and Nursing, " "Life Science, " "Math and Engineering, " "Medicine, " "Physical Science, " and "Transportation."
Language:
English
Genre:
ISBN:
9780787638764
Format :
Book

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Q141 .W43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
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Q141 .W43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Summary

Summary

This reference provides information on 1500 contributions of African Americans throughout history in the field of science and technology.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

There are several chronologies that survey African American contributions in general (among them Gale's Black Firsts: 2000 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, published in 1994), and several others that document worldwide achievements in science and technology, but this one concentrates on African American pioneers in endeavors ranging from clock making to particle physics. The volume has approximately 1,200 entries, organized under eight broad topics such as "Agriculture and Everyday Life," "Life Sciences," and "Medicine." Within each section, events are listed in chronological order. The earliest event is from 1706, when a slave named Onesimus educated his owner, Cotton Mather, about the concept of inoculation against smallpox. The latest events are from 1999. The longest chapter is the one on medicine, which covers more than 150 pages. In some cases, first is defined as the first African American to achieve a milestone, graduate from a particular institution, or receive a particular honor or appointment. An outstanding example is Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics and the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT (1973), the first African American and the first woman to be appointed to the position of Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1995), and the first African American woman to head a leading technology university in the U.S. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1998). In other cases, what is recorded is the first accomplishment in a field by any person of any background. Entries are generally quite brief, ranging from 50 to around 100 words. They provide information about individuals' education and careers as well as about the "firsts." Each cites sources, among which are periodicals such as Ebony, Jet, and the New York Times, professional journals, the Index of Patents, and various Gale publications, including The African-American Almanac and Who's Who Among Black Americans. Photographs accompany 108 of the entries. The volume concludes with a bibliography, an index by year, an occupation index, and a general index. This volume complements another Gale title, Notable Black American Scientists [RBB F 15 99], and is recommended for high-school, public, and academic libraries.


Choice Review

In some 1,200 entries, this compilation chronicles the accomplishments and trailblazing achievements of African American scientists, technologists, and inventors, 1706-1999, many of whom experienced real adversity and received hardly any media attention for their notable achievements. All the entries include a brief bibliography, and 108 include a photograph of the subject. The text has sections for agriculture and everyday life, allied health, dentistry and nursing, life sciences, math and engineering, medicine, physical sciences, and transportation. The book ends with a bibliography, indexes by year and occupation, and a general index. Recommended for collections in biography, science and technology, and African American history. F. A. Hall; Virginia Commonwealth University