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Monday, August 2, 1999 Published at 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK


Scientist's stamp of authority

The new stamps celebrate the work of Faraday (left) and Newton

The achievements of Britain's greatest scientists are being commemorated by a new set of stamps, now on sale.

Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin and the biologists Crick and Watson are the inspiration for the Scientists' Tale collection - part of the Royal Mail's Millennium Collection marking 1,000 years of British achievements.

[ image: The discovery of DNA]
The discovery of DNA
The inspiration for the 19p stamp, designed by Mark Curtis, is the1953 discovery of the structure of DNA by the Cambridge biologists Francis Crick and James Watson - for which they shared the Nobel Prize.

The 26p First Class stamp, "Darwin's theory", was designed by the wildlife artist Ray Harris Ching. A bird stands next to a limestone fossil of Archaeopteryx, the first known bird, from which it evolved.

The photographer Colin Gray designed the 44p stamp, "Faraday's Electricity," dedicated to the pioneering researcher.

[ image: Darwin's theory of natural selection is highlighted]
Darwin's theory of natural selection is highlighted
The 64p stamp is a tribute to Isaac Newton and shows a photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

An exhibition of the original artwork used in the stamps, along with the other 12 "tales" which make up the Millennium Collection, has opened at the British Library in London this week.

An array of related historical artefacts is also on display. These include an original letter by Newton explaining his theory of gravity and a copy of his 1687 work "Principia Mathematica".

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