Renad I. Zhdanov, Ipek Cetinkaya and Svetlana I. Zhdanova
There are large numbers of postage stamps related to scientific and medical advances around the world. These stamps are mostly devoted to great scientists and physicians and their discoveries and accomplishments in science. This article discusses some of the most important for the public cases of these achievements based on considering postage stamps worldwide. It is apparent that these postage stamps represent a respond from the society to professional activity of scientists and medical doctors. This being the issue, it can be said that even if the stamps are fading away, it is a fact that they leave a historical commemoration to famous crucial points in science and medicine. The relationships between the postage stamps mentioned in this article and pharmacology, genetics, and bioengineering are discussed. An input of science into world culture and the impact of nations into modern science, medicine and technology are estimated and evaluated via analyzing and comparison of philatelic materials worldwide. Although more than 80 philatelic items worldwide are presented and discussed in the paper, an attention is paid mostly to the contributions from the United Kingdom (27 stamps), the United States of America (24 stamps), the U.S.S.R. and Russia (17 stamps), Germany (7 stamps), and France (5 stamps). Presentation and considering of the stamps and stamp blocks is organized around a few topics of the most public interest: medicines (insulin, antibiotics, and hormones), DNA & gene medicines, and genetics and bioengineering as well. A special attention is paid in the paper to the Great scientists and physicians worldwide and their discoveries: G. Mendel, F. Banting, A. Fleming, N. Vavilov, P. Julian, J. Watson, F. Crick, B. McClintock, and the first physician-astronaut in space B. Egorov, MD as well. The article is based on the philatelic collection of the authors, one of the largest in scientific and medical philately containing about 4,000 science and medicine related philatelic items: stamps, blocks, envelopes, cancellations. This paper has been prepared in order to inspire young minds on scientific philately, which are commemorations on important impacts in scientific world.
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