Father Juan Ignacio Molina y Gonzalez, SJ
First Scientist of Chile



Father Juan Ignacio Molina, SJ on Chile Scott 369 Father Juan Ignacio Molina, SJ on Chile Scott C282
CHILE, 1968, Scott 369 and C282
The red lilac regular issue stamp shows Innocenzo Giungi's bust of Molina at 85 years of age;
it cites Molina's donation to the Liceo de Talca and hails him as a benefactor of national education.
The bright green airmail stamp is based on Giambattista Trulli's painting of Molina at 65 years of age;
it alludes to his scientific writings and names him first scientist of Chile.

Juan Ignacio Molina was born near Talca, Chile and entered the Jesuits at Santiago when he was only fifteen. He was forced to leave Chile in 1768 when the Jesuits were expelled, and was ordained priest just a few days before the Suppression of the Society, after which he was usually referred to as abate (abbot). He taught in Bologna, studied the natural sciences, and became the foremost historian and geographer of Chile. He anticipated Darwin by proposing the gradual evolution of human beings. In 1815 he inherited a large fortune and gave most of it to found a college and library in Talca. More

Father Juan Ignacio Molina statue on Chile Scott 1291
CHILE, 1999, the bicentenary of Humboldt's visit to South America, Scott 1291
While this stamp was issued to honor Humboldt, the statue on the left is Giungi's bust of Molina with whom Humboldt consulted.

Father Juan Ignacio Molina on label of Chile Scott 1579

Father Juan Ignacio Molina on label of Chile Scott 1579
CHILE, 2011, the 30th anniversary of the University of Talca, Scott 1579

In 1981, the merger between the University of Chile and the State Technical University, both based in the regional capital, gave birth to the University of Talca. The precursor of this achievement was Abate Juan Ignacio Molina and his attempts to create a university in Talca by the donation of his inheritance to support the study of physics, astronomy, mathematics and navigation in his native city. In 2011 four stamps were issued to mark the 30th anniversary of the university, and Molina found a place in the labels.