From Library Journal
One hundred famous and not-so-famous African American scientists (both living and dead) are covered in this biographical reference, intended for middle school through community college levels. Men and women accomplished in anthropology, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics are included. Those profiled include lesser-known scientists such as Christine Darden (an engineer with NASA) as well as the better known, e.g., George Washington Carver. All serve as excellent role models and reveal "some of the real costs and benefits associated with the pursuit of a career in scientific research." The four distinguished authors have extensive backgrounds as teachers, librarians, and writers. Few similar reference tools are currently available: Blacks in Science and Medicine (Hemisphere Pub., 1990), for instance, has brief facts rather than longer profiles and thus lacks the inspirational aspects of this title. A welcome addition to most libraries; buy where needed.
Laura E. Lipton, Ctr. for Urban Horticulture, Seattle
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This volume contains biographies of 100 African Americans from all fields of science, medicine, and mathematics, approximately 20 percent of them women. The entries include familiar names, such as George Washington Carver and Charles Drew, some whose names students might remember after reading the entry, such as astronauts Ronald McNair and Mae Jemison, and others totally unfamiliar, such as NASA aerospace engineer Christine Darden and Dow Chemical senior scientist Linneaus Dorman. Most of these scientists are currently involved in either research or academe, and students will have difficulty finding information about them elsewhere. However, biographies for a dozen contemporary scientists not found in this book can be located in the Encyclopedia of African-American History and Culture (see above).
This book is written for the middle and high-school user. The vocabulary and writing style are geared more for the younger reader, but the information will satisfy both groups. The entries are arranged alphabetically and average three to five pages. Each profile begins with a black-and-white photograph and the subject's vital statistics, including birth date and place, applicable death information or present position, educational background, and science field. An essay discusses the individual's childhood and family background, higher-education experiences, and career highlights. None of the articles is signed. The authors are educators with specialties covering history, science, reading, and library services.
School libraries will find this volume valuable because many of the people covered, such as Dartmouth physics professor H. Ralph Lewis and Bell Labs chemist James Mitchell, will not be found in other school resources. This book will also be an asset to multicultural collections in public libraries. Reading the stories of these lives may inspire young people, African Americans and others, to look toward the sciences as a career.
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