the people of color advisory board

23 Black Female Scientists Who Changed The Damn World

Okay so prior to Alice, people had known for hundreds of years that a potential treatment to leprosy existed in the form of something called Chaulmoogra oil. It was too thick to effectively circulate through the body, but Alice Ball, science prodigy and chemist extraordinaire, was the one who FINALLY figured how to turn it into a working treatment. It’s thanks to her that a leprosy crisis was avoided in the early 1900s. Bless you, Alice.

Stay with me for a second because this is actual rocket science. Centaur is a second-stage rocket launcher: the workhorse of the rocket world used to propel countless probes and satellites into space. It’s been invaluable to NASA since its creation, first allowing the U.S. to catch up to the Soviet Union during the space race, and eventually propelling spacecrafts to land on the moon and fly by other planets in the solar system.

So yes: Annie Easley helped DO that. She also contributed energy research to power plants and electronic batteries, which enabled the creation of hybrid vehicles. Go ahead and thank Annie for those, too.

Prior to Jeanne, the impact of discrimination and its accompanying stress factors were rarely explored or acknowledged in relationship to health. She also researched the impact of racism on childhood development and ways to approach therapy that addressed the needs of people of color. And Jeanne broke a ton of ground for black psychologists through her roles in academia and her publications.

Jewel researched ways to alter cell growth AND experimented with growing human tumor tissue outside of the human body to use for cancer treatment tests (instead of testing on living people). As if that wasn’t enough, she also helped to form the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Women and Minorities in Science.

The chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission monitors the byproduct of nuclear reactors, so it’s a pretty big deal. Shirley also served on a bunch of advisory boards for international security and energy, AND she was the first black woman to get a Ph.D from MIT.

See the full list:

23 Black Female Scientists Who Changed The Damn World