Honoring Four Great American Scientists

March 04, 2008 




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The U.S. Postal Service will recognize some of the most impressive scientific achievements of the 20th century with the issuance of the American Scientists stamps. The 41-cent commemorative stamps will honor four scientists: theoretical physicist John Bardeen, biochemist Gerty Cori, astronomer Edwin Hubble, and structural chemist Linus Pauling.

James C. Miller, Member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service
David E. Failor, Executive Director, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service
Marie Therese Dominguez, Vice President, Government Relations, U.S. Postal Service
Raschelle Parker, Marketing Manager, New York District, U.S. Postal Service
Linda Pauling Kamb, daughter of Linus Pauling
Charles Bardeen, grandson of John Bardeen
David Bardeen, grandson of John Bardeen
Karen Bardeen, granddaughter of John Bardeen
William Bardeen, grandson of John Bardeen
Eric Jackson, President, American Stamp Dealers Association

Noon ET
Thursday, March 6, 2008

Madison Square Garden
WaMu Theatre
New York, NY

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.

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.

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