Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Faith In Percy

TV productions thematically tied to Black History Month usually revolve around a rotating group of about a dozen or so "greats" and continually rehash their achievements. Tonight, PBS's Nova breaks out of that with a docudrama on Percy Julian, one of the great chemists of the 20th century:

The “Nova” filmmakers’ effort to revive Mr. Julian’s legacy is not only riveting, but also one of the most ambitious projects in the 34-year history of “Nova.” His work included discoveries in the synthesis of cortisone, an anti-inflammatory used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many other conditions. In 1999 the American Chemical Society recognized his synthesis of physostigmine, a glaucoma drug, as one of the top 25 achievements in the history of American chemistry. He was the first black chemist ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Never heard of him? Well, I hadn't until recently either.

Check out "Forgotten Genius" as your schedule permits. This being PBS, it will most likely be replayed a few times this month.

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