Monday, February 05, 2007

"Forgotten Genius" on PBS: Percy Julian's story

Tonight on PBS at 7pm Central, Nova is airing "Forgotten Genius," the story of Percy Julian, an African American chemist who made a number of ground-breaking discoveries during the early and mid 1900s.

The 2 hour long program will include "Archival footage, dramatic reenactments featuring Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson and remarks from family and friends tell the story of organic chemist Percy Julian (1899-1975)."

The accompanying site has an interactive timeline of his many contributions, including work with alkaloids that had implications for therapy of heart disease symptoms and glaucoma, a discovery that helped launch the steroid industry, and developing scores of products from the soy bean including a foam that helped fight fires on US military vessels during WWII.

Update:
If you missed it or you just want to see it again, you can watch this episode of Nova online - they've divided it into 13 segments for easier viewing (available in QuickTime, Windows Media Player, or RealVideo formats).

2 Comments:

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous amani said...

That was an awesome program! I think its amazing that even when the opportunity existed for him to make a profit when his team of scientists figured out how to make one of the drugs cheaply, he opted instead to make the drug available to the public at a reduced price. This great scientist was dedicated to people and wanted to help people before making a profit. He totally deserved it when he ended up making a ton of money anyway even after this price lowering!! I wish more pharmaceutical companies were like him. The only one I can think of that is somewhat similar is OneWorldHealth (not a plug, I'm in no way affiliated with this company).

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger BeckyJ said...

I completely agree, Amani -- his strength of personality and his commitment to science for humanity's benefit struck me as so altruistic, and the documentary did such a great job pulling together commentary from people who knew him or his work! I've heard a little bit about OneWorldHealth and it does seem to share a similar mission, will be great to see how it develops. It sounds as if they're working closely with the biomedical community to develop collaborations, hopefully exciting things will unfold!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home