St. Paul scientist with over 100 patents featured on Jeopardy

A screenshot of a question asked on the show Jeopardy
The Final Jeopardy clue presented to contestants on a recent episode of Jeopardy, the answer to which is "What is 3M."
Courtesy of 3M

If you're a Jeopardy watcher in Minnesota, chances are you got last night's Final Jeopardy answer right.

In her 20-plus years working for this company, Audrey Sherman of St. Paul has been granted more than 130 patents.

The correct response, of course, is: “What is 3M.”

MPR News host Tom Crann sat down with Sherman to talk about her Jeopardy debut — as well as her feat of being one of 18 inventors in 3M’s 116-year history to reach the 100-patent mark.

A portrait of a smiling woman
Audrey Sherman, a scientist working for 3M, has been granted over 100 patents over her career.
Courtesy of 3M

“Friends who I never would guess were Jeopardy fans started pinging my cellphone immediately,” Sherman said of being featured on the game show.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.

When Sherman first hit 100 patents, she ranked 13th in patent numbers in the company. She was also the first woman to hit the mark. Today, with 130 patents, she ranks somewhere around number eight — and is still the only woman at 3M who has surpassed 100 patents, she said.

You might recognize some of her inventions, too.

“If you’ve ever hung a command hook in your bath and shower — in that wet, humid soapy environment — that is an adhesive that I invented for the company,” Sherman said.

She added, though, that a lot of teamwork goes into making these things.