Life and education
Brown was born in 1934 in The Bronx, New York and after moving with her family, attended high school on Staten Island. Brown was an undergraduate at Hunter College where she earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1956, one of two African Americans in the inaugural class of Hunter's chemistry program. She received a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in organic chemistry in 1958, the first African American woman to achieve this.
After receiving her master's degree, Brown began work as a research chemist at CIBA Pharmaceutical Company, where she was involved in research programs for drug development targeting tuberculosis and coccidiosis. She moved to Merck in 1969, where she continued to work as a research chemist. From 1993 to 2002 she was a faculty member at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Brown has also devoted significant professional effort to diversity and outreach projects; she served on the National Science Foundation Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women Minorities and Persons with Disabilities and was the historian of the American Chemical Society’s Women Chemist Committee. As a historian of science, Brown has contributed biographical profiles to the African American National Biography Project and is the author of the 2011 book African American Women Chemists, which profiles early African American women in chemistry.
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- "Jeannette Brown". The HistoryMakers African American Oral History Video Collection. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Grezlla, Paul (March 16, 2012). "Chemical reactions Hillsborough chemist shares pioneering stories of black women". My Central Jersey. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- "Jeanette E. Brown, Chemist, Historian, and author of "African American Women Chemists," to Speak August 18". Berkeley Lab. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
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- Neal, Sharon L. (2 April 2012). "Black Women, Chemistry Pioneers". Chemical & Engineering News. 90 (14): 46–7.
- "ACS Fellows". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 21 February 2016.