New releases: Science in Korea (3rd) (27 April 2017)

New Releases ROK

(News from 한국우취연합 / Philatelic Federation of Korea) Korea Post is introducing three inductees of the Korea Science and Technology Hall of Fame – King Sejong the Great, Choi Mu-seon, and Woo Jang-chun – in the third series of the “distinguished figures who made contributions to Koreas advancement in science and technology” postage stamps. 

Copyright: Philatelic Federation of Korea / KoreaPost 2017

Original English text from 한국우취연합 / Philatelic Federation of Korea website:
Having instituted the promotion of science and technology as a governing philosophy, King Sejong the Great (1397~1450) enabled remarkable advances in many fields including astronomy, geography, printing, national defense, medicine, and agriculture. King Sejong and his scholars published A Calculation of the Motions of the Seven Celestial Determinants, which established a Joseon-centric astronomical calendar, and developed a number of devices such as a rain gauge, sundial, water clock, and honcheonui (armillary sphere) to conduct astronomical observations. He also worked with scientists to develop and improve artillery to bolster national defense capability. King Sejong improved the lives of the common people by promoting study of medicine and development of local medicinal ingredients, and furthered the advancement of art by employing domestic technology in the redesign of various musical instruments. Created by the king for the common people, Hangul, originally proclaimed under the name of Hunminjeongeum, has been recognized as the Korean peoples native scientific alphabet.

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Choi Mu-seon (1325~1395) was a general and scientist from the late Goryeo period who developed gunpowder for the first time in Korea as well as gunpowder weapons. In the belief that gunpowder would be the best tool to defeat Japanese raiders, Choi learned how to prepare niter from Chinese engineer Lee Won or Lee Yuan, and after years of tireless effort and research, he succeeded in developing effective gunpowder. Later, Choi established Hwatong Dogam (an agency dedicated to developing firearms) and personally led the effort to invent a variety of firearms and cannons. The gunpowder and weapons developed by this effort played a significant role in defeating the Japanese raiders that attacked the coastal region of Jeolla province in 1380 and in improving the military capability of Joseon.

Woo Jang-chun (1898~1959) was a scientist and botanist who made profound contributions to Koreas food self-sufficiency as well as to the advancement of genetics and breeding science internationally. In 1935, he shocked international academia by proving experimentally the theory of synthesis of species. The theory claims that evolution occurs not only through buildup of beneficial mutations within the same species, which was a widely-accepted theory in academia, but also through interbreeding between different species of the same genus of plants. Dr. Woo also contributed greatly to the realization of Koreas food self-sufficiency by disseminating tangerine farming technique to the people of Jeju Island and developing Korean cabbage and radish ideal for local soil, as well as a potato that can grow well in the barren soil of Gangwon-do Province.

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Original Korean text from 한국우취연합 / Philatelic Federation of Korea website:

우정사업본부는 과학 기술인 명예의 전당에 오른 인물 중세종대왕, 최무선, 우장춘을 선정해 한국의 과학 기술 발전에 기여한 인물 세 번째 시리즈를 우표로 발행한다.

세종대왕(1397~1450)은 과학 기술 진흥을 국가 통치 이념으로 세우고, 천문·지리·인쇄·국방·의학·농업 등 다양한 분야에서 우리 과학 기술을 높은 수준으로 발전시켰다. 조선 중심의 역법 체계를 확립한 칠정산 내외편을 편찬하고 측우기를 비롯해 물시계·해시계, 천문 관측기구인 혼천의 등을 개발했다. 또한 독자적으로 화포를 개량하고 발명하여 국방력을 강화시켰다. 의학 연구와 국산 약재 개발에도 힘써 백성의 삶을 돌봤으며, 우리 기술로 악기를 재정비해 문화 발전에도 크게 기여했다. 글을 모르는 백성을 위해 창제한 훈민정음은 우리 민족 고유의 과학적인 문자로 인정받고 있다.

최무선(1325~1395)은 우리나라 최초로 화약을 만들고 화약 무기를 개발한 고려 말의 장군이자 과학자이다. 왜구를 물리치는 데 화약이 최선이라고 생각한 그는 중국 기술자 이원에게서 염초 만드는 법을 배웠고, 오랜 연구와 노력 끝에 화약 개발에 성공했다. 이후 화통도감을 세워 총과 대포 등 각종 화약 무기를 개발하는 데 힘썼다. 이렇게 개발된 화약과 무기는 1380년 전라도 해안 지역으로 쳐들어온 왜구를 격퇴하고 이후 조선의 군사력을 강화하는 데 크게 기여했다.

우장춘(1898~1959)은 우리나라의 식량 자급에 기여했으며, 세계 유전 육종학의 발전에 크게 기여한 과학자이다. 우장춘은 1935년 같은 종끼리만 교배할 수 있다는 학계 정설을 깨고, 종은 달라도 같은 속의 식물을 교배하면 새로운 식물을 만들 수 있다는 종의 합성 이론을 실험으로 입증해 세계 육종학계를 놀라게 했다. 또한 제주도에 감귤 재배 기술을 보급하고, 우리 땅에 적합한 한국 배추와 무, 척박한 땅에서 잘 자라는 강원도 감자를 개발해 식량 자급을 실현하는 데 크게 기여했다.



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