2011 44¢ American Scientists
Issue Date: June 16, 2011
City: St. Paul, MN
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America, Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Offset
Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Prize winner, said, “I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.” Her observation easily applies to the four scientists honored by the U.S. Postal Service.
Melvin Calvin, Asa Gray, Maria Goeppert Mayer, and Severo Ochoa are all featured on the 2011 American Scientists stamps. Three of them, like Curie, won the Nobel Prize in their respective fields. The fourth, Gray, lived in the 19th century, before the Nobel was established, but also enjoyed international renown for his work in botany. His books are still used today.
With tremendous dedication, these scientists opened doors for others to follow. Their persistence unlocked secrets of the workings of the world: from Calvin’s understanding of plants and energy, to Goeppert Mayer’s investigation of atomic particles. Gray’s manuals detailing plants are still relevant more than 160 years later, and Ochoa’s research into the building blocks of life marked a critical advance.
The stamps feature calculations and images relevant to the work that made each scientist famous. The researchers honored on these stamps left a lasting legacy in the quest for knowledge.