Is Ashley Black a scientist? You bet your ass she is. While some in modern society have seemed to have taken a hard right when it comes to understanding what a scientist is and isn’t, claiming a narrow definition of the term – One with a degree in science.
Actually, a scientist is defined by Wikipedia and many other sources as “a person who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest.” Not only does this describe Black to the letter, we should be looking to her discoveries in medical science to redefine our approach to human healing modalities.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Ashley Black, the inventor of a myofascial treatment tool – the FasciaBlaster, she is already a decorated business woman, earning the highest award in business in 2020, Entrepreneur of the Year by the American Business Association among other awards. The ABA recognized Black for her “scientific contribution” to the health and beauty sectors. Black has already used the profits from her own business, conducted third party research at the American Sports Performance Institute led by Dr. Jacob Wilson and published her findings in Cogent Medical Journal, one of the most respected papers in Europe. Black is one of the few scientists in modern history to forgo grants or fund raising and self-fund a multimillion dollar study.
In an interview with Forbes she said “I didn’t have time to wait for someone else’s money, I knew my inventions were changing lives, and I needed to know exactly why. I don’t have an ego, I don’t need the title of scientist, I just want my inventions to change the face of healthcare for the better.”
And this is a justified desire on Ms. Black’s part. Her inventions are the first non-invasive therapies to cure cellulite. That’s right, she invented the cure for cellulite, with 100% of the participants in the study having the same result. But Black’s mission has nothing to do with cellulite, her passion has always been the connective tissue of the body- the fascia.
Black tells The New York Times that “Cellulite is the result of dysfunctional fascia below the skin. We’ve known this for decades, but yet cellulite treatments up until this point haven’t regenerated the fascia tissue”.
That is exactly what Black’s studies showed in ultrasound imaging and validated by blood results showing and increase in collagen production and a reduction in inflammation. We are scratching our heads wondering why every news outlet and science journal in the world isn’t shouting this from the rooftops. Is it because the research didn’t come from a major university or pharmaceutical company? Is it because she’s a woman? And independent? Regardless, Black is like an outlaw scientist – cutting through all the red tape and proving her science, kicking ass and taking names, so to speak. Her research is peer reviewed and published, making it the most solid type of science we have.
Ashley Black has done it the way our ancients did it, by engaging in the philosophical study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science. Though Thales (circa 624-545 BC) was arguably the first scientist for describing how cosmic events may be seen as natural, not necessarily caused by gods, it was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian, philosopher, and historian of science William Whelm. Back in the old school days you had to earn the respect of your colleagues by devoting your life to your studies. Only once they raised money, wrote papers, marketed them and gained acceptance were they considered scientists. Most of our greatest scientist didn’t have a degree in science. Eminent examples include three Copley Medal winners: Michael Faraday, who did an apprenticeship, and had no degree; Charles Darwin, who got an ‘ordinary’ degree in theology; and James Joule, who had no degree. And our beloved Thomas Edison didn’t receive a degree until 61 years after his death, as universities recognized his lifetime achievement in science.
We hope we don’t have to wait 61 years for Black to receive an honorary science degree, Nobel Prize or something worthy of her lifetime’s work and passion. We celebrate the accomplishments of Ashley Black, the scientist. And all women who quietly pioneer their fields until they get the recognition they deserve by the establishment.