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Stamp for a polymath

boscovich_01It is just 300 years since Joseph Boscovich Bettera was born in what is now Croatia, and his native land is naming 2011 “National Boscovich Year”, and featuring its Jesuit polymath on a stamp. Wikipedia calls him a theologian, physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, diplomat, poet, Jesuit.  AMDG Express would  add architect – he suggested a way of strengthening the cracked cupola of St Peter’s Basilica: it worked. Joseph had entered the Jesuits in Rome, and went on to invent the achromatic telescope. His mathematical and astronomical publications brought him all over Europe. He was a member of the Royal Society in London, and of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and, after the suppression of the Jesuits, was invited to Paris by the king, who created a position for him as director of optics for the French navy.