Three Major Scientists

Three Major ScientistsScience and scientist have revolutionalized life with a significantly established for many modern and upcoming scientists. Science as a result has become a major challenge to religion, superstition and things that brought so much fear due to the inability to understand them were replaced by knowledge and reason. Many names still remain as far as inventions and scientific discoveries are concerned.

These scientists include: St. Elmo Brady, Lloyd N. Ferguson and John E Hodge.St.

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Elmo Brady and the chemistry worldSt. Elmo Brady was the pioneer African American to receive the Ph.D. degree in chemistry.

In the footsteps of George Washington Carver, he started as a teacher and did research on plants that were believed to be native to the United State’s Southern part. In these researches he was looking for chemical products that would be useful to him and his research. St. Elmo taught quite a great number of scientists and professionals in health.

He taught them both organic and general chemistry in his long and distinguished career in four different colleges that were historically black.In 1884 is when St. Elmo was born Louisville Kentucky. His brilliance started right from elementary all the way to high school where he graduated with honors.

His university studies started in 1904 in Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Here he studied under one of the early teachers of modern chemistry in black colleges. This teacher was known as Thomas W. Talley.

In 1908 is when he graduated and got a position in Tuskegee Institute in Alabama which he accepted. As a result of his friendliness to Tuskegee founder and an agricultural researcher, he learnt from them the importance of working for the advancement of others (Gordon, 62).By the year 1913, no single African American had gotten a Ph.D.

in chemistry and very few had advanced degree in the other academic fields. In this same year is when St. Elmo took leave from Tuskegee so as to go to the graduate program in chemistry at the University of Illinois. In 1914 he received an M.

A. and continued with his studies towards the Ph.D. having been given a graduate fellowship.

Clarence G. Derick who was St. Elmo’s research director was exploring structure’s effect on organic acid’s strength. St.

Elmo added his knowledge to this subject. He studied the effect of the divalent oxygen atom, which played an imperative function in the growth of hypothetical organic chemistry later on in the century. Brady was the first African American in a number of things. They include: The first to be admitted in Phi Lambda Upsilon, the chemistry honor society in 1914, the first to be inducted into Sigma Xi, the science honor society in 1915.

In 1916 he received his Ph.D. and returned back to Tuskegee where he became head of the science division.St.

Elmo was offered the position of professor and head of chemistry department at Howard University in Washington, DC and he accepted in 1920. For seven years he remained in Howard University and was a key component in building the undergraduate program in chemistry. He then left for his alma mater, Fisk University and became the head of the chemistry department when he got the opportunity. He spent a major part of his career there having spent 25 years in the chemistry department and retiring in 1952.

As a lecturer, he taught organic and general chemistry to hundreds of students. He also published his research that was on chemical constituents of magnolia seeds and castor beans. He was there to supervise the construction of the first modern chemistry building in a black college that in the end came to be named after him and his teacher, Thomas Talley. He was the pioneer in that he began a graduate program in chemistry that was in fact the first one in a black college.

He went ahead to establish the Thomas W. Talley lecture series in conjunction with the graduate program that brought forth outstanding chemists to Fisk. He further established a summer program in infrared spectroscopy at Fisk in collaboration with the faculty from the University of Illinois that was open to all colleges and universities’ faculty members.St.

Elmo was married with a son who gave him two grand daughters. His son a physician died quite young. His wife lived in Washington due to the hardship for and limited employment opportunity for young African women in Nashville. As a result Brady had to travel often from Nashville to Washington and vise versa.

On retirement, St. Elmo moved to Washington and was asked to assist in the development of the chemistry department in Tougaloo College that was a small upcoming college in Mississippi and he accepted. He was very eager to help in designing their new science building and obtain new faculty members. St.

Elmo Brady died in 1966 on Christmas day at the age of 82 in Washington (Horton, 46).Lloyd N. Ferguson’s chemistry worldLloyd had a long and distinguished career as an educator and chemist at the California State University in Los Angeles and achieved emeritus status in 1986. Lloyd was not only a teacher, he conducted important research on the relationship between the chemistry of organic compounds and properties for instance odor and taste, alicycles (organic compounds with unusual molecular structures), and cancer chemotherapy during his years at California State.

With all these accomplishments, Ferguson considered his efforts to be an encouragement to the minority youth so as to pursue their dream careers in science and saw this as one of the most significant contributions through out the years. Lloyd was in addition to being an educator, he was an active writer. He published six textbooks and very many pedagogical articles which enabled him receive numerous awards which include the Distinguished Teaching award of the Manufacturing Chemists Association in 1974, the American Chemical Society award in chemical education in 1978 and also Outstanding Teaching award from the National Organization of Black Chemists in 1979.Lloyd Ferguson was born in Oakland in February 9th in 1918.

He studied chemistry at the university of California at Berkeley and received his bachelor of science degree with honors in 1940 and attained his doctorate in 1943. He worked on National defense research projects and rose to become assistant agriculture professor at the Agricultural and Technical College at Greensboro, North California between the years 1941-1944. Lloyd joined the faculty of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

and became a full professor in 1955 and chaired the chemistry department from 1958-1965. During this Lloyd conducted research on the chemical properties of aromatic molecules of aromatic molecules. He investigated halogenations, the complex mechanism by which aromatic molecules combines with a halogen. He studied the molecular components and biochemical processes of taste–research that is valuable, as Ferguson argued in his 1958 article titled “The Physicochemical Aspects of the Sense of Taste,” in gaining a fuller understanding “about the ways chemicals stimulate biological activity.

” Exploring one aspect of such research, Ferguson investigated whether a chemical compound’s structural configuration has an effect on its taste by measuring the absorption of sweet and nonsweet compounds by various surfaces. The three text books that Lloyd wrote as a professor in Howard University include: Electron Structures of Organic Molecules, Textbook of Organic Chemistry, and The Modern Structural Theory of Organic Chemistry. Lloyd Ferguson was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, which took him to the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen, Denmark. Between 1961 and 1962 he was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Ferguson chaired the chemistry department of the faculty at California State University in Los Angeles from 1968-1971. At this time, his area of study and research included the chemistry of alicycles. He then wrote an article in 1969 called “Alicyclic Chemistry: The playground for organic Chemists.” Here, Lloyd describes alicycles as providing “ideal systems for measuring electrical and magnetic interaction between nonbonded atoms and for studying the [structural] and mechanistic aspects of organic reactions,” and as supplying “models for elucidating the chemistry of natural products such as steroids, alkalids, vitamins, carbohydrates, [and] antibiotics.

“Lloyd Ferguson received an honorary doctorate of science degree from Howard University in 1970. He then published during the following decade an additional three textbooks namely: Organic Chemistry: A Science and an Art, Highlights of Alicyclic Chemistry, both volumes 1 and 2, and Organic Molecular Structure. He received Outstanding professor award from California state university in 1974 and 1981 along with his national teaching and educational awards. He served on the chemotherapy advisory committee of the national cancer institute which reflected his interest in cancer chemotherapy in 1972-1675 with articles such as: Cancer: How Can Chemists Help.

He was then appointed to the united states national committee to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) for a total of three years. After which he served on the national sea Grant Review Panel from 1978-81 and was affiliated with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences from 1979-83. In 1986, Ferguson retired as emeritus professor of chemistry at California State University.Lloyd Ferguson is now a member of the American chemical society, the National Cancer Institute, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Chemical Society, among other professional and scientific bodies.

He also accepted a post of visiting professor at the University of Nairobi in Kenya during 1971-1972. He was then awarded the Distinguished American Medallion from the American Foundation for Negro Affairs in 1976. He taught at           Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a United Negro College Fund scholar-at-large in 1984-1985. In 1989, he helped establish both the National Organization of Black Chemists and Engineers and the American Chemical Society’s SEED (Support of the Educationally and Economically Disadvantaged) program (Swedin, 32).

John Edward Hodge’s chemistry worldJohn Edward Hodge Was a chemist, an educator and an administrator. He was born on October 12th, 1914 in Kansas city, Kansas. He attained his B. A.

degree in 1936 and the M. A. degree in 1940 all from the university of Kansas. There, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa scholastic society and the Pi Mu Epsilon honorary mathematics organization.

He did his postgraduate studies at Bradley University and then obtained a diploma from the federal executive institute, Charlottesville, VA, In 1971. John was an oil chemist for the Kansas department of inspections in Topeka, KS. He was a professor at the Western university, Quindaro, KS. Hodge began a 40 years service at the USDA Northern Regional Research Center in 1941 in Pretoria and retired in 1980.

He being an expert, he conducted research on the chemistry of browning reactions in foods. He contributed articles to the journal of the American chemical society, Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, Cereal foods world and carbohydrates research. On his article: Hodge, J. E.

(1953). “Chemistry of browning reactions in models systems.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 1(15): 928-943 was branded a “Citation Classic” by the Science Citation Index in 1979. He studied in it the chemistry of non-enzymatic browning reactions in dehydrated foods, such as the Maillard reaction.

he incorporated a reaction scheme which is recognized as the “Hodge Scheme” and is regarded to be the Maillard reaction trail over 50 years later on.Theories of browning reactions, including carbonyl-amino, caramelization, and ox-idative types, are incorporated in evaluation. A united system for browning in sugar-amine systems is offered, wherein sugar-amine condensation, the Amadori reorganization, sugar dehydration by ?-elimination reactions, and reductone formation are shown to be essential conciliator reactions leading to the creation of brown pigments in cooked and dried out foods.John Edward was a distinguished carbohydrate chemist and a prominent member of the African American community.

He was known to the international heights for his primal work on the nonenzymatic browning which was carried out in Illinois as he served for more than 40 years. In 1910, he went to Kansas City from Indiana university to teach science at summer high school when he was already armed with a Master of Science degree in physics. He taught science for six years at summer high school before he was promoted to the position of principal and remained in that position for 35 years. Those were the times of racial segregation both in Kansas and the neighboring Missouri state.

With him as the principal, summer high school developed a reputation as a serious school and only the best from the African American community could join it.John’s interest in science started way in childhood. As a child, he developed serious reading habits of science books and only science topics were of interest to him. As a young child he developed interest in building models of airplanes from balsa wood and the making of early radio with the help of his father.

As many scientists are known to be, John was interested in solving puzzles and playing games of chance. He even gained the title of effective and efficient solver of crossword puzzles by contemporaries and was also an accomplished card, billiard and checker player. To add to his many talents and achievements was his playing of piano and the trumpet. He was an accomplished musician and had a life long love, interest and appreciation for jazz music.

Being a researcher working in a government laboratory, John Hodge relied on his individual experimental efforts in the lab and he did not get much recognition for his accomplishment that has leading scientists in academia whose work is mostly based on extensive experimental works by teams of research students. Hodge gained a good deal of notice in 1979 among carbohydrate chemists when an article he wrote in 1953 was named a “Citation Classic” by the Science Citation Index. The standard editorial published in an academic journal in 1973 received 5.7 citations.

His article had been cited more than 155 times since 1961. The paper was on Hodge’s in particular – the chemistry of browning reactions in dehydrated foods.The article was quoted from (Peterson, 79) as an exceptional model of good organization. Hodge gave an evaluation and scrutiny of the chemistry of browning reactions in food in the analysis.

Examples of browning reactions are the toasting of bread or marshmallows, the caramelization of sugar on heating or the browning of a cut piece of apple or banana when left uncovered to the air.The browning reactions study is vital in today’s social order. synthetically “browned” foods can be attractive, example being, the aroma and flavor of coffee, roasted nuts, or maple syrup. on the other hand, existing salad bars necessitate the lessening of browning reactions.

The element reactions that take place in food products breakdown are comparable to the reactions in the body at the time when those foods are broken down in the body in absorption. These substance reactions create antioxidants that have been associated with the study of aging, diabetes, and many more human ailments. Hence, it’s evident that the study contribution of even one scientist does have a great force in many 1964, He chaired the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry of the American Chemical Society, and was member of the cereal chemists and other scientific organizations.

Hodge did encourage young black college students to study chemistry. He toured historically black colleges in the South to evaluate their lab capabilities, and to sign up summer interns for research experiences. he was on the board of directors of Carver Community Center, 1952-58. Secretary in 1953 of the Citizens Committee for Peoria Public Schools; secretary for the Mayor’s Commission for Senior Citizens, 1982-85; advisory board member, Central Illinois Agency for the Aging, 1975 all in community service (Horton, 60-67).

                    Work CitedGordon, U. Jacob. The Black male in white America. Nova Publishers, 2002: 62.

Horton, Derek. Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry.Academic Press, 1998: 46-67Peterson, S. Martin.

Scientific Thinking and Scientific Writing. New York: Reinhold        Publishing 1961:79.Swedin, Gottfrid, Eric. Science in the contemporary world: an encyclopedia.ABC-CLIO, 2005:32.         

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