Meet Monifa Phillips, 1st Black Woman to Earn Physics PhD from University of Glasgow

Oyin Balogun
Jul 15, 2019
07:34 P.M.

A young black woman broke a 568-year-record by becoming the first black female PhD physicist from the University of Glasgow, amid racial discrimination.


Monifa Phillips, from London, made history when she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in physics from the University of Glasgow.


The achievement holds a special significance because Monifa changed a 568-year old history, and opened the door for other people of colour to follow in her footsteps. The physicist took to Twitter to celebrate the laudable feat with pictures of herself and her parents.


“… I’m a proud black woman from LDN; I made a space for myself in a predominantly white male field.”

She added at the end that although it was hard, she was able to do it with the support of her family and community.

The post has gotten thousands of retweets and likes, with many commending her, and expressing their gratitude for the example the PhD holder has set for young girls of colour.



Monifa's record-breaking feat, which also got the attention of the Scottish Parliament and a congratulatory motion, did not come without racial discriminations. In a May post on Twitter, the Glasgow alumnus who did her thesis on ways to efficiently store memory, with the focus on RRAM, said that so many people told her that,

“Black people are not good for science, and are better at music.”


Monifa equally had to ensure that there were jobs in her field for people of colour, by carrying out research on companies' websites or asking them outright when she didn’t find answers online.


The material scientist's efforts have created an awareness in the science world on the lack or better put, the almost nonexistence of people of colour in STEM fields. While congratulating the record-breaking Monifa, Glasgow University School of Physics and Astronomy, noted that there was an issue of racial diversity and will ensure that the physicist will not be the last person of colour to join their ranks.


According to Educational Researcher, more Blacks and Latinas studying in the science fields drop out of college or switch majors than Whites, and although the underlying cause is unknown, racism seems to be at the core.

The National Science Foundation equally listed that out of 50,000 doctorate holders in STEM fields between 2002 and 2017, only about 5.1 to 5.4 percent are people of colour. Monifa’s story shows that if one can achieve it, then others can, with hard work and dedication.

Related posts

Liam Neeson’s ‘Handsome’ 27-Year-Old Son Looks Like His ‘Twin’ Now, Causing Reactions

March 20, 2024

Tom Brady’s Actress Ex Posts Cryptic Message After He Was Roasted for Leaving Her While Pregnant

May 08, 2024

3 Celebrities Who Found Love with Non-famous Lookalikes of Their Star Ex-spouses

May 20, 2024

King Charles' Rarely Seen Niece, 20, Appears in Reworn $1,725 Dress, Drawing Divided Reactions

June 19, 2024

Tom Brady Sends His Exes Sweet Tribute on Mother’s Day, Stirring up Online Buzz

May 13, 2024

Prince William & Princess Catherine ‘Are Going Through Hell’ Now, Their Designer Reveals, Sparking Public Discussion

May 07, 2024

Users Notice Meghan Markle’s Iconic Engagement Ring ‘Looks Hugely Larger’ in Recent Instagram Photos

April 25, 2024

Barbra Streisand Shows Off ‘So Handsome’ 57-Year-Old Lookalike Son, Sparking a Stir

March 26, 2024

Rihanna, 36, Poses in Nun Outfit for New Shoot, Facing Criticism

April 10, 2024

Photo of Gray-Haired Jackie Chan Ahead of 70th Birthday Ignites Stir: 'He Looks Completely Different'

March 18, 2024

This Actress Was Married for 24 Years to Pastor & 'Never Thought' Divorce Would Happen to Her

May 03, 2024

My Parents Gave Me $10,000 to Pay for College — I Was Shocked to Find Out What They Wanted in Return

April 29, 2024

Ben Affleck's 'New Face,' Keith Urban's 'Stringy' Hair, Prince William's New Title & 3 More Top News of the Week

May 10, 2024

Patrick Swayze’s Widow, 67, Speaks on Being Called ‘Evil’ for Finding New Love after His Death

April 11, 2024