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NOVA: Forgotten Genius
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Fascinating, largely unknown story of scientific triumph and racial inequality


Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson portrays Percy Julian


Forgotten Genius

Aired Tuesday, 6/2/2009 at 8:00 p.m. on CPTV

NOVA presents the remarkable life story of Percy Julian - one of the great African-American scientists of the 20th century. The grandson of Alabama slaves, Julian won worldwide acclaim for his work in organic chemistry - and broke the color barrier in American science more than a decade before Jackie Robinson did so in baseball. A brilliant chemist, Julian discovered a way to turn soybeans into synthetic steroids on an industrial scale. His innovative approach to chemistry helped to make drugs like cortisone widely available to millions.

Percy Julian overcame countless obstacles to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire and a civil rights pioneer. Yet, despite his many achievements, his story is largely unknown. NOVA brings to life Julian's scientific breakthroughs and gripping biography, with vivid period re-enactments based on newly accessible family archives and interviews with dozens of colleagues and relatives. Tony Award-winning actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson stars as Julian and actor Courtney B. Vance narrates. Learn more...

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