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Jeanette Brown
Jeanette Brown — African American Women Chemists
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 at 6PM — Labyrinth Books Princeton

Join author, chemist, and teacher Jeanette Brown for a discussion of the lives of African American women chemists from the earliest pioneers up until the late 1960s when the Civil Rights Acts were passed and greater career opportunities began to emerge.


Dr. Marie Maynard Daly received her PhD in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1947. Although she was hardly the first of her race and gender to engage in the field, she was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in chemistry in the United States. This book presents a wide-ranging historical introduction to the relatively new presence of African American women in the field of chemistry. It details their struggles to obtain an education and their efforts to succeed in a field in which there were few African American men, much less African American women.

The book contains sketches of the lives of these pioneering chemists. In each sketch, Brown explores their motivation to study the field and details their often quite significant accomplishments. Chapters focus on chemists in academia, industry, and government, as well as chemical engineers, whose career path is very different from that of the tradition chemist. Jeannette Brown’s discussion concludes with a chapter on the future of African American women chemists, which will be of interest to all women interested in science.


Jeannette Elizabeth Brown is a former Faculty Associate at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is the 2004 Société de Chimie Industrielle (American Section) Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and consistently lectures on African American women in chemistry.




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