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Dr Margaret S Collins #BHMwithBWIS


Dr Margaret S Collins


September 1922 - April 1996



Margaret S Collins (Wikipedia)


Margaret was the 4th of Rollins and Luella James' 5 children. Both of her parents were very encouraging of Collins' academic pursuits and instilled an early foundation of resilience and determination that Collins benefited from in later life. Margaret went on to have a family of her own: marrying (twice) and having 2 sons.


1943 Receives BSci Biology, West Virginia State University

1949 Receives PhD in Zoology, University of Chicago

Scientific career

Collins was an avid learner and graduated high school aged 14. Collins then went on to become a zoologist and entomologist. Career highlights include when David Nickle and Collins identified a new species: the Florida dampwood termite; and when Collins became a senior research associate at the Smithsonian.


Collins was the first black entomologist third black female zoologist in the United States (joining the likes of Dr Roger Arliner Young).

Collins was also a civil rights advocate and worked as a volunteer driver during a bus boycott.

In 1979, Collines led a symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - published later as Science and the Question of Human Equality [1].

Collins material collection makes up the Collins Collection at the National Museum of Natural History.

[1] Collins, M. S., Wainer, I. W., & Bremner, T. A. (1981). Science and the Question of Human Equality. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. ISBN 9780891589525

Useful links

Margaret S Collins (Wikipedia)

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