Article ID: CBB438527364

E. E. Just and Creativity in Science. The Importance of Diversity (2015)


Renowned biologist Ernest Everett Just (1883–1941) was an outspoken advocate for the classical embryologist’s view of the cell; he believed that all the parts of the cell, but especially the cytoplasm, have important roles to play in the process of development, whereby a one-celled zygote becomes a many-celled animal. In opposition to geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan, Just formulated a hypothesis for how the cell works in development, one that gave a more dominant role to cytoplasmic (instead of nuclear) factors. This paper argues that, in creating his hypothesis, Just applied insights from the African American intellectual community in which he was immersed, much as Charles Darwin applied insights from British political economist Thomas R. Malthus in formulating his theory of evolution by natural selection. This in no way diminishes the scientific validity of Just’s (or Darwin’s) hypothesis. Rather, it highlights Just’s creativity and, as such, points to the importance of having diversity in science.

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Authors & Contributors
Mendes, Gabriel N.
Lerone A. Martin
Varel, David Alan
Sharma, Alankaar
LaCount, Marilyn Ruth
Savitt, Todd Lee
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Journal of African American Studies
Social History of Medicine
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
University of Colorado at Boulder
Arizona State University
New York University Press
Kent State University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Harvard University Press
African Americans and science
African Americans
Medicine and race
Cellular biology
Davis, Allison
Wright, Richard
Bishop, Shelton Hale
Wilson, Edmund Beecher
Wertham, Fredric
Ross, Hugh Campbell
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
United States
Southern states (U.S.)
Ohio (U.S.)
New York City (New York, U.S.)
Lafargue Mental Hygiene Clinic
American Social Hygiene Association
University of Chicago

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