Create a brochure giving details about the scientist Elmo Brady
Scientists as Role Models (5 points possible)
Participation in science is a human endeavor not dominated by one gender or race. In urban classrooms, it is important for students to see themselves as participants in science. In this assignment, I would like you to highlight a person who is involved in scientific endeavors (moving beyond a white male stereotype). Create a brochure giving details about the scientist and her or his accomplishments
. Examples of a brochure will be shared in class.
in powerpoint and add images and videos about Elmo Brady
St. Elmo Brady was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry. Equally as significant, Brady went on to build chemistry curricula, faculty, programs and facilities at four major historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), where he and his colleagues mentored multiple generations of African- American chemists.
His life was truly an inspiration to all who had the privilege to meet him, and his legacy lives on. For his life-long accomplishments, Brady is being honored by the American Chemical Society with a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The Landmark is being designated and celebrated at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, where he received his Ph.D. in 1916, and at the four HBCUs where he served in leadership positions: Tuskegee University, Howard University, Fisk University and Tougaloo College.
Brady was born on Dec. 22, 1884, in Louisville, Kentucky, the eldest of three children of Thomas Alexander Brady and Celester (Parker) Brady. He graduated from Louisville Colored High School in 1903 and at the age of 20 left home to attend Fisk, an all-black college in Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1866. There, his chemistry teacher, Thomas W. Talley, encouraged him to study chemistry.
Brady graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1908 and took a teaching position at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. After four years teaching at Tuskegee, Brady was offered a scholarship to study at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. He took a leave of absence from Tuskegee and began at Illinois in the summer session of 1913. He completed his M.S. in chemistry in 1914 and continued his graduate studies under Professor Clarence G. Derick.
Brady published three scholarly abstracts with Derick in Science between 1914 and 1915 and also collaborated with Professor George Beal on a paper titled “The Hydrochloride Method for the Determination of Alkaloids,” published in the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.
Brady’s main focus for his Ph.D. research was settling a scientific disagreement between his advisor and the eminent Harvard chemist Arthur Michael. Derick and Michael disagreed on how the acidity of carboxylic acids was affected by replacing hydrogen atoms on the carbon chain with other chemical groups. In his Ph.D. research, Brady investigated the acidity of straight- chain carboxylic acids in which a pair of hydrogen atoms was replaced with an oxygen atom to give a keto acid.
Brady’s research resulted in a number of firsts, including new methods for preparing and purifying certain compounds and clarifying the influence of carbonyl groups on the acidity of carboxylic acids, an early contribution to the nascent field of physical organic chemistry. Brady’s studies supported Derick’s view, and he and others concluded that Michael’s view was incorrect.
Brady completed his Ph.D. after only two years, giving an oral defense of his 228-page dissertation, titled “The Scale of Influence of Substituents in Paraffine Monobasic Acids. The Divalent Oxygen Atom,” on May 22, 1916. He was the 40th person to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, which granted its first chemistry doctorate in 1903, and the first African-American chemist to earn that distinction in the U.S.
Brady was well aware of the challenges he overcame and his role in breaking down barriers. He lived in a segregated community, where finding housing was among the many challenges he faced. Yet he didn’t talk about any of the difficulties, said his granddaughter, Carol Brady Fonvielle, in an interview. Her grandfather had a good sense of humor and cared for all people, she said. “My grandparents used to speak in terms of being good for the race.”
Notably, while at the University of Illinois, Brady became in 1914 the first African-American admitted to Phi Lambda Upsilon, the chemistry honor society, and in 1915 was one of the first African-Americans to be inducted into Sigma Xi, the science honor society. In November 1916, The Crisis, the monthly magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, selected Brady for its biographical sketch as “Man of the Month.”