"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, January 27, 2020

Ernest Everett Just

This portrait of Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941) hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
One of the most brilliant American scientists of his generation, Ernest Everett Just graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1907 and earned his doctorate in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1916. While serving on the faculty of Howard University from 1907 to 1941, Just devoted many summers to experimental research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His studies of fertilization and early development in marine invertebrates yielded a host of groundbreaking discoveries that overturned widely accepted theories. Despite the significance of Just's work, racial prejudice prevented his full acceptance into the American scientific community. European scientists welcomed him, however, and he spent much of his later career conducting research abroad.

In 1996, the U.S. Postal Service featured Just in its Black Heritage stamp series. This drawing of the scientist at work was created for the envelopes that the Postal Service produced to commemorate the stamp's first day of issue. -- NPG

While teaching at Howard University Ernest E. Just lived at 512 T Street (on the left in the photo below) in Washington, DC.

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