The Most Famous African-American Scientist: A Ranking of Prominent Figures in STEM

Choose the scientist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 06:59
Welcome to StrawPoll, where opinions matter and voices are heard! Today, we present you with the ultimate showdown of the most famous African-American scientists who have left an indelible mark on the world of science. From groundbreaking discoveries to pioneering inventions, these trailblazers have transcended boundaries and inspired generations. Now, it's your turn to rank and celebrate their incredible contributions. Cast your vote for your favorite scientific hero or suggest a missing name who deserves recognition. Get ready to delve into the captivating stories of these brilliant minds as we explore the power of knowledge and the wonders of science. So, buckle up and join us on this exciting journey to find out who will be crowned the most famous African-American scientist!

Who Is the Most Famous African-American Scientist?

  1. 1
    Neil deGrasse Tyson is he is a famous astrophysicist, author, and science communicator. He has hosted several TV shows, including "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," and has written several books on science.
    The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson.
    • Guest: Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Episode Number: 1159
    • Release Date: March 7, 2019
    • Duration: 3 hours and 8 minutes
    • Topics Discussed: Science, astrophysics, space exploration, philosophy
    Neil deGrasse Tyson in other rankings
  2. 2
    Mae Jemison
    NASA · Public domain

    Mae Jemison

    Mae Jemison
    She was the first African-American woman to go to space. She is also a physician and engineer, and has worked for NASA.
    Mae Jemison is an astronaut, physician, and engineer who became the first African American woman to travel into space. She is widely recognized for her contributions in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and for breaking barriers as a woman of color in the field of space exploration.
    • First African American Woman in Space: Yes
    • Profession: Astronaut, Physician, Engineer
    • Promoter of STEM education: Yes
    • Gender: Female
    • Race/Ethnicity: African American
    Mae Jemison in other rankings
  3. 3
    Benjamin Banneker
    Carol M. Highsmith · Public domain
    He was a self-taught mathematician and astronomer who made important contributions to the development of the United States. He helped to survey the land that became Washington, D.C.
    Benjamin Banneker in other rankings
  4. 4
    George Washington Carver
    not listed · Public domain
    He was a botanist and inventor who developed new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and other crops.
    George Washington Carver in other rankings
  5. 5
    He was a chemist who made important contributions to the development of synthetic hormones and drugs.
  6. 6
    He was a physician and researcher who developed new techniques for blood transfusions and helped to establish the first blood bank.
  7. 7
    She is a physicist and engineer who has made important contributions to the field of condensed matter physics. She was also the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.
    Shirley Ann Jackson in other rankings
  8. 8
    He was a biologist and educator who made important contributions to the study of cell biology and embryology.
  9. 9
    Otis Boykin
    AnonymousUnknown author · Public domain
    He was an inventor who developed new types of resistors and capacitors, which are used in electronic devices.
    Otis Boykin in other rankings
  10. 10
    Katherine Johnson
    NASA · Public domain

    Katherine Johnson

    Katherine Johnson
    She was a mathematician who worked for NASA and helped to calculate the trajectories for the first human spaceflight. She was also featured in the movie "Hidden Figures."
    Katherine Johnson was a renowned mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to the field of space exploration. She was known for her exceptional mathematical abilities and played a crucial role in calculating trajectories for numerous space missions, including the Apollo program. Johnson's work at NASA helped propel the United States into space and she was recognized as one of the most important figures in the success of early space missions.
    • Field: Mathematics and Physics
    • Contributions: Space exploration, trajectory calculations
    • Agency: NASA
    • Notable Projects: Apollo program
    • Achievements: Presidential Medal of Freedom, NASA Langley Research Center's Computational Research Facility named in her honor
    Katherine Johnson in other rankings

Missing your favorite scientist?


Ranking factors for famous scientist

  1. Scientific Achievements
    The significance and impact of their research, publications, and contributions to their field of study.
  2. Recognition and Awards
    The number and importance of scientific awards, honors, and recognition received during their career.
  3. Legacy and Impact
    The long-term impact of their discoveries and innovations on science, society, and future generations.
  4. Overcoming barriers
    The extent to which they overcame institutional or societal barriers such as racism, prejudice, or discrimination in pursuing their scientific career.
  5. Popularity and Public Perception
    The degree of public influence and impact of their scientific work, either through research, teaching, or advocacy.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous African-American scientist. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Scientist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Scientist once every 24 hours. The rank of each Scientist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous african-american scientist

Background Information: Who is the Most Famous African-American Scientist? The contributions of African-American scientists to the field of science have been immense, yet often overlooked. From the early days of slavery, where slaves were used for medical experimentation, to the present day, African-American scientists have played a significant role in shaping the world we live in. One of the most famous African-American scientists is George Washington Carver. Born in Missouri in 1864, Carver was an agricultural scientist who revolutionized farming practices in the South. He is best known for his work on crop rotation and developing new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. Carver was the first African-American to earn a Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University and went on to become a professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Another notable African-American scientist is Mae Jemison. Born in Alabama in 1956, Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel in space in 1992. She studied chemical engineering at Stanford University and later earned her medical degree from Cornell University. Jemison's work in space exploration and her advocacy for science education have made her a role model for future generations. Other notable African-American scientists include Percy Lavon Julian, who revolutionized the field of synthetic chemistry, and Benjamin Banneker, who is best known for his work in astronomy. Despite the challenges they faced, African-American scientists have made invaluable contributions to the scientific community. Their stories serve as a reminder of the importance of diversity and inclusion in science and the need to recognize

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