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Discovering Diverse Scientists: Home

Discovering Scientists that Look Like Me

From the lights overhead to the blood in our veins, from the expanding universe to our very DNA great minds lead to great discoveries.  But Edison, Landsteiner, Hubble, Watson, and Crick didn't do it alone.  Their contributions would not have succeeded without the work of individuals overlooked, disregarded, or just forgotten.  Edison's incandescent light bulbs needed filaments, and Lewis Latimer, a Black electrical expert, and inventor came up with the carbon filament that made the light bulb more long-lasting.  Karl Landsteiner discovered the three basic blood types, A, B, and O in the early 1900s that made blood transfusions medically safe, but Charles Drew, an African-American surgeon developed the technologies to process and store blood that has saved millions of lives. Hubble's Law established that the universe is expanding, but he would not have been able to make that discovery if it weren't for Henrietta Swan Leavitt whose early work in astrophotography at the Harvard Observatory lead to the first standard for measuring the distance to other galaxies.  And Watson and Crick were not alone in the discovery of the double helix, Rosalind Franklin's unpublished data, including the beautiful "photo 51," shown to Watson by Franklin's colleague was Watson's inspiration. Using Franklin's photograph and their own data, Watson and Crick created their famous DNA model.  This guide is intended as an evolving resource for information on scientists who have been, for the most part, overlooked because of their race, gender, sexual identity, or orientation.  Far from comprehensive, it's a start.

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