An African science hero is a person or group of colour, past or present from Africa who despite a disadvantaged background, has boldly persevered and laboured to contribute significantly to global science and technology. Whether it be the Khoisan of Botswana and their historical knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants, or William Kamkwamba, the Malawian boy who even without a secondary school education managed to harness the wind or a notable Ghanaian scientist like Prof. Felix Konotey-Ahulu, a leading expert in sickle-cell anemia – they all embody the values of courage, determination, dedication, compassion, sacrifice, ambition, intrepidity, vision, focus, and creativity.
The goal of African Science Heroes is two fold – first to generate a sense of pride of African accomplishments in science and technology and secondly as role models that will empower young Africans to realize their potential to contribute significantly to the world of science.
This project will gather information about African societies and individuals around the world who despite any shortcomings, have moved scientific knowledge forward and have had a beneficial impact on humankind. This website is one step in the process. Other ongoing approaches include scouring the literature and interviewing scientists around the world to find out what are their sources of inspiration, motivation, influences, and values. All these methods will be funneled into the production of a short film and exhibition which will be developed further in to a touring exhibition and book that can reach out to people from all walks of life in Africa.
Please help with comments, suggestions and thoughts of who your African science hero is and why? And if you do not have one, I would also like to hear why. For your hero – please include their name, country of origin, background, scientific contribution, and the reason why you choose them.
Thank you for your participation!