Public Welfare Medal-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as NOVA ScienceNow, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and Star Talk. He is the director of Hayden Planetarium and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”
Nigerian-American physician, forensic-pathologist and neuropathologist Bennet Omalu is most-noted for discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. He was serving at Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh at that time. He presently serves as President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology, chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, and as professor at the University of California, Davis.
American mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson went down in history as the first African-American woman to work as a NASA engineer. Initially a math teacher, she later joined NACA under Dorothy Vaughan and contributed to countless American space programs at a time when racial segregation was the norm.
American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of NACA, later part of NASA, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.
Benjamin Banneker was born to a free African-American mother and a former slave father, and was largely self-educated. While he showed immense talent in both mathematics and astronomy, having predicted a solar eclipse with precision, he also wrote essays on civil rights and rallied against slavery.
Percy Lavon Julian was an American chemist whose work paved the way for the production of birth control pills and corticosteroids. Julian went on to start his own company which helped reduce the price of steroid intermediates. In 1973, Percy Lavon Julian was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and became the first African-American to receive this honor.
Marie Maynard Daly was the first Black lady to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry in the U.S. She was inspired by her father, who had to drop out of Cornell due to lack of funds. A pioneer of biochemistry, Daly later introduced a scholarship for African-American students at Queens College.
The current Kenyan ambassador to France, Judy Wakhungu has previously been a geologist and was the first woman to teach at the University of Nairobi’s geology department. She has been associated with the UNCSTD and has been the Ministry of Energy and Regional Development’s first female geologist.
Nkandu Luo is a Zambian politician and microbiologist. She is best known for her extensive research into HIV/AIDS at the University Teaching Hospital, where she was the former Head of Pathology and Microbiology. An important politician, Luo has held various ministerial offices, including the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Gender and Child Development.
Apart from being the first Black coach of an American Olympic team, LeRoy T. Walker was also the first Black president of the US Olympic Committee. The fame track and field coach also excelled in basketball and football initially. He also held an Olympic Order and 15 honorary degrees.
Kitaw Ejigu was an Ethiopian-American engineer and one of Ethiopia’s first aerospace scientists. He worked for NASA as a system engineer and space research scientist and managed a joint NASA/ESA International Solar Polar Mission Spacecraft Systems Interface. He is also credited with the invention of two aerospace mechanisms which were patented under NASA's new technologies programs.