At least 25 specimens of fungi that infect plants, collected by George Washington Carver more than a century ago, were discovered Feb. 8 in the Wisconsin State Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
The Wisconsin State Herbarium holds the nation’s second largest collection of microfungi, a type of fungus that does not form a mushroom. The university archive holds about 120,000 specimens.
George Washington Carver (c. 1864-1943) was a prominent African-American scientist with a long record of achievement. Born a slave in Missouri, he became the first black student at what is now Iowa State University, then its first black faculty member. He spent 47 years directing agricultural science at the Tuskegee Institute, which was established during Reconstruction to educate blacks.
George Washington Carver is a symbol of scientific and social accomplishment.
“He represented a marriage of scientific knowledge and popular education for economic empowerment…” -William Jones, a professor of history at UW–Madison