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Deaf People in Science/Mathematics/Engineering/Medicine

For teachers interested in incorporating historical information about deaf women and men in their science lessons, here are a few suggestions of deaf scientists of note. Details on many of these persons may be found in the two books Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences, and Silence of the Spheres: The Deaf Experience in the History of Science. For information on contemporary deaf scientists, see Model Secondary School for the Deaf's page on today's deaf men and women in science.


Jay J. Basch -U.S. Department of Agriculture
-Research on concentrated milk

Anders Gustaf Ekeberg -Discovered element Tantalum

George T. Dougherty -Chemistry of soap
-Chemistry of steel

Oscar Guire -Chemical Abstracts

Sir John Warcup Cornforth -Won Nobel Prize in 1975 for the study of cholesterol molecule

Donald J. Kidd -Geochemistry of Beryllium

Gideon Moore -Discovered minerals
-Studied production of sugar form sorgham

Nansie Sharpless -Biochemist
-Studied L-Dopa for Parkinson's Disease


A. T. Hollick -19th century botanical illustrator
-Photos of Hollick's illustrations of Insects (Collembola) for Lord Avery's book

John J. Gavin -Molecular Biochemist

Robert J. Lillie -Poultry Science

Judith Pachciarz -Ph.D. in Microbiology, but was rejected by many medical schools until she hired a lawyer.
Earned her M.D. from Louisville School of Medicine.

Voya A. Raykovic -Veterinarian
-Animal vaccines

Averil J. Wiley -Bacteriologist
-Research on food and feed yeast, bacteriology of pulp and paper

Jean Kelsh Cardano -Medical lab technician

Dr. Frank Hochman -First born deaf medical doctor

Regina Olsen Hughes -Scientific Illustrator
-First person in history to have both a Genus and Species of a plant named in her honor

Leo Lesquereux -Paleontology
-Fossil plants
-Photo of the Northern Bladderpod plant named in honor of Leo Lesquereux

James H. Logan -Microscopist

James C. Marsters -Orthodontist

Gerald M. McCarthy -Entomologist
-Agricultural diseases
-Silk Worm

Thomas Meehan -"Father of American Horticulture"
-Helped Charles Darwin study plants

Dr. Donald Ballantyne -International expert on microsurgery, skin grafts, kidney transplants
-One of the founders of Modern Biology

Charles Bonnet -First person to study photosynthesis
-Experimental Entomologist
-Discovered Parthenogenesis (reproduction without fertilization)
-Suggested artificial insemination in dogs

Tilly Edinger -Paleontologist
-Published hundreds of reports on her studies of horse fossils

Robert J. Farquharson -Civil War surgeon
- studied Leprosy

Anthony A. Hajna -Bacteriologist
-Epidemic forms of bacteria
-Spoiled food, Salmonellosis

Dr. Charles Henri Nicolle -Won Nobel Prize of his discovery of body lice as a source of Typhus Fever
-Serum for Diphtheria
-Diseases carried by ticks and flies

Dr. Ethel Sharrard -General Practitioner
-Medical Doctor helping soldiers during World War II

Raymond T. Atwood -Bacteriologist
-Protein materials left over from brewing operators

Lewis H. Babbitt -Reptiles and amphibians

Hubert L. Clark -Zoologist
-Birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians

Leon Kapp -Microbiology
-Isolated gene for a rare disease


Wilson H. Grabill -Statistician for Family and Fertily Statistics branch at the Population Division of the U.S.
Department of Commerce

Oliver Heaviside -Developed Vector Calculus

Charlotte Angas Scott -Wrote a book on Geometry
-Chief examiner on mathematics for the College Entrance Examination Board

Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky -Developed mathematical formula for a rocket's escape velocity from Earth's gravity

H. Latham Breunig -Statistical procedure, for improving quality control at Eli Lilly and Company


Olaf Hassel -Astronomer
-Discovered a comet (1939)
-Discovered a nova (1960)

Oliver Heaviside -Radio waves (in atmosphere)
-Telephone transmission
-Electric circuit theory
-Photo of Lunar Crater named in honor of Oliver Heaviside

Donald J. Kidd -Geologist

Fielding Bradford Meek -Geologist
-Animal fossils

George Bryan Shanklin -Electrical Engineer
-Patents for high voltage cables

Robert Grant Aitken -Studied binary stars
-Discovered several thousand

Guillaume Amontons
-Gave idea for fixed points on thermometer to Fahrenheit
-Designed first barometers
-Studied friction, prisms

Frederick Barnard
-Stereoscopic photography
-Pendulum motion

Annie Jump Cannon -Classified more than 300,000 stars
-"Dean of American Astronomers"

John Goodricke
-First to study binary Stars in 18th Century

John Ambrose Fleming -Invented the vacuum tube

Frank Ross Gray -Lensmaker for telescopes
Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky -"Father of Rocketry"
-Photo of Lunar Crater Tsiolkovsky

Robert H. Weitbrecht
-Inventor of TTY modem

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
-discovered relationship between magnitude of stars and their period, thus helping astronomers to measure the distance to stars more accurately


Thomas Alva Edison

-More than 1200 patents -Improvement of incandescent light bulb
-Improvement of telephone

-Edison lost much of his hearing when he was a young boy. He had a difficult time communicating and he communicated with Morse Code with many of his fellow inventors and scientists. Sometimes his wife "interpreted" for him in Morse code when they went to a drama. Edison wrote about his deafness in various books.


If you have suggestions for information to be included in this page, please contact the Project Director, Harry Lang.

Last updated: 08/09/02