Legends of American Science Now on U.S. Postage Stamps

Written by Imperial Valley News
Thursday, 06 March 2008
Washington, DC - The U.S. Postal Service acknowledges the contributions of some of the most impressive scientific achievements of the 20th century with the issuance of its second series of American Scientists stamps.

The stamps will be dedicated during a ceremony today at noon at Madison Square Garden's WaMu Theater.

The four scientists appearing on the stamps are:
Theoretical physicist John Bardeen (1908-1991) co-invented the transistor, which was arguably the most important invention of the 20th century. Bardeen also collaborated on the first fundamental explanation of superconductivity at low temperatures, a theory that has had a profound impact on many fields of physics. He remains the only person ever awarded two Nobel Prizes in physics.

Biochemist Gerty Cori (1896-1957), in collaboration with her husband, Carl, made important discoveries — including a new derivative of glucose — that elucidated the steps of carbohydrate metabolism and became the basis for our knowledge of how cells use food and convert it into energy. Their work also contributed to the understanding and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) played a pivotal role in deciphering the vast and complex nature of the universe. His meticulous studies of spiral nebulae proved the existence of galaxies other than our own Milky Way, paving the way for a revolutionary new understanding that the cosmos contains myriad separate galaxies, or "island universes."

Structural chemist Linus Pauling (1901-1994) determined the nature of the chemical bond linking atoms into molecules. He routinely crossed disciplinary boundaries throughout his career and made significant contributions in several diverse fields. His pioneering work on protein structure was critical in establishing the field of molecular biology and his studies of hemoglobin led to many findings, including the classification of sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease.

"We are here to honor four extraordinary individuals who pushed back the frontiers of knowledge on behalf of all of mankind," said James Miller III, member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service. Miller will officially dedicate the stamp at the ceremony, which will be attended by family members of the honored scientists.

Joining Miller will be Eric Jackson, president, American Stamp Dealers Association; and for the Postal Service Marie Therese Dominguez, vice president, Government Relations, and David Failor, executive director, Stamp Services.

William Bardeen, son of physicist John Bardeen, one of the stamp's honorees, said, "This is a high honor for my father and my family. We appreciate the Postal Service's recognition of my father and the important role science has played in making America great."
"If my mother were alive today, she would think this recognition was wonderful and one of the best things that could have happened to her," said Tom Cori, son of biochemist Gerty Cori.

"The whole family is delighted with this honor," said Linda Pauling Kamb, daughter of structural chemist Linus Pauling. "It is especially significant that he is being recognized for his work in molecular biology and his discovery that the sickle cell anemia disease is a molecular disease."

For each stamp, artist Victor Stabin of Jim Thorpe, PA, with the assistance of art director Carl Herrman of Carlsbad, CA, created a collage featuring a painted portrait of each scientist combined with diagrams or photographic representations associated with their major contributions.

The first series of American Scientists stamps was issued in 2005 and featured geneticist Barbara McClintock, thermodynamicist Josiah Willard Gibbs, mathematician John von Neumann and physicist Richard Feynman.

The American Scientists stamps will be available for purchase in Post Offices, on and by calling 800-STAMP-24 starting Thursday, March 6.

No comments: