Asa Gray honoured in US American Scientists stamps issue in June 2011
The United States Postal Service will issue a stamp honoring Asa Gray in June.
The third American Scientists stamp issuance honors chemist Melvin Calvin, botanist Asa Gray, physicist Maria Goeppert Mayer, and biochemist Severo Ochoa. The stamps go on sale June 16.
- Melvin Calvin was the first scientist to trace in detail the process of photosynthesis and conducted pioneering research on using plants as an alternative energy source. He won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1961.
- Asa Gray, one of the first professional botanists in the United States, advanced the specialized field of plant geography and became the principal American advocate of evolutionary theory in the mid-nineteenth century. Archivist Lisa DeCesare and Harvard University Herbarium botanists worked with the design team to incorporate elements that represent Gray’s life and work.
- Maria Goeppert Mayer developed a theoretical model that helped explain the structure of the atomic nucleus; for this work she became the only woman other than Marie Curie to win a Nobel Prize in physics.
- Severo Ochoa, a biochemist, was the first scientist to synthesize ribonucleic acid (RNA) and competed in the race to decipher the genetic code. Ochoa won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1959.
For each stamp in this block of four, art director Ethel Kessler collaborated with Greg Berger of Bethesda, MD, to create a collage featuring a photograph and signature of the scientist, along with items such as equations and diagrams that are associated with the scientist’s research.
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