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Forgotten Genius

Against all odds, African American chemist Percy Julian became one of the great scientists of the 20th century.

Premiered: Runtime: 01:52:42Topic: Physics + MathPhysics & MathNova

Dr. Percy Julian was a man of genius, devotion, and determination. The grandson of enslaved people from Alabama, Dr. Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply racist and segregated America. As one of the first Black chemists, he fought to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry. At the height of his career, Dr. Julian had reached unparalleled levels of scientific and personal achievement, overcoming countless obstacles to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire, and a civil rights pioneer.

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Additional funding for this program is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the American Chemical Society, American Playhouse, and by Mr. and Mrs. William G. Brown.

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.