February 1, 2017
The National Society of Black Physicists honors Dr. Edward A. Bouchet.
Edward Alexander Bouchet was born on September 15, 1852 in New Haven CT. He was an African American physicist and educator and was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from any American university, completing his dissertation in physics at Yale in 1876. Dr. Bouchet was unable to find a university teaching position after college, probably because of racial discrimination. Bouchet moved to Philadelphia in 1876 and took a position at the Philadelphia's Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), where he taught physics and chemistry for the next 26 years. He died on October 28, 1918. Dr. Bouchet's impact on physics still resonates today around the world. The American Physical Society (APS Physics) confers the Edward A. Bouchet Award on some of the nation's outstanding physicists for their contribution to physics. The Edward Bouchet Abdus Salam Institute was founded in 1988 by the late Nobel Laureate, Professor Abdus Salam under the direction of the founding Chairman Charles S. Brown. In 2005, Yale and Howard University founded the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in his name.