News Release

Celebrating Black chemists and chemical engineers

Reports and Proceedings

American Chemical Society

Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), is celebrating Black chemists and chemical engineers with a special issue highlighting Black chemists who work across the fields of biotechnology, solar energy, pharmaceuticals and more. Guest edited by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) drug delivery pioneer Paula Hammond, Ph.D., this special issue showcases Black scientists, spotlighting their scientific passions and career accomplishments.

"In bringing into focus the unique lives of this set of accomplished Black scientists in chemistry and chemical engineering, it is my hope that we open the door to more frequent and constant recognition of our presence in the field," Hammond wrote in her introductory remarks. "We have always been present in the sciences -- but now more than ever, we must appreciate and acknowledge the presence of Black people and other people of color. We must find ways to continue to raise our voices and celebrate our work. As a nation, we all benefit from the huge talent gained when all are included in the science enterprise."

Among the chemists and chemical engineers featured in the 2021 Trailblazers issue are Karen Akinsanya, Ph.D., of Schr?dinger, Inc., on artificial-intelligence-driven drug discovery; Oluwatoyin Asojo, Ph.D., of Hampton University on her calling to develop drugs for neglected diseases; Squire J. Booker, Ph.D., of Penn State University on the catalytic moments of his career; Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Connecticut on his twin passions for surgery and biomedical engineering; and Kristala L. J. Prather, Ph.D., of MIT on harnessing the synthetic power of microbial systems. The print issue, which features original content and photography by Black creators, was released on February 22.


The paper, "C&EN's Trailblazers," is freely available here.

For more of the latest research news, register for our upcoming meeting, ACS Spring 2021. Journalists and public information officers are encouraged to apply for complimentary press registration by emailing us at

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS' mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS' main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.  

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact


Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.