Children’s author Melina Mangal will be in Woods Hole on Thursday, August 1, giving two presentations about her new book “The Vast Wonder of the World” which is a biography of the scientist Ernest Everett Just. It is very appropriate that she should be giving these two presentations in Woods Hole because this remarkable African-American man studied and worked at MBL from 1911 on. Ms. Mangal, who is a school librarian in Minnesota, has written several books about people who have become successes, in spite of discrimination.
Her first presentation will be at 10 AM in the morning at the Woods Hole Public Library in cooperation with the Periwinkle Club, MBL’s children’s group, which visits the Library frequently. The author will read from her book and tell children about this man, his work, and his triumph against the odds. As she says “I can’t wait for young readers to learn about this inspirational man and his contributions to science.”
At 6 PM that evening, Ms. Mangal will give a slide presentation and book reading at the MBL Club farther along Water Street. Copies of the book will be on sale at both events.
E. E. Just was born in 1883 in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, yet managed to attend and graduate magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1907 majoring in biology and minoring in Greek and history. He began teaching in Howard University in 1907, then began his summer research at MBL two years later. Even before he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Chicago with a PhD in biology in 1916, he had been awarded the first NAACP Springarn Medal for the “highest achievement of an American of African Descent”. He went on to earn an international reputation in cell biology. This book brings his struggles and successes to life.