Author: Christian

Petar Stamboli: The Serb Scientist Who Made the World Famous

Petar Stamboli: The Serb Scientist Who Made the World Famous

Serbian scientists name new species of beetle after Novak Djokovic, the champion tennis player

Novak Djokovic is a favourite in Serbian tennis circles. He is an established tennis player and a regular on the ATP World Tour. He is also a well-known champion, especially among Serbia’s Serb diaspora abroad.

And the man who’s been at his side through all his victories is none other than the talented and prolific Serbian scientist Petar Stambolić.

Born in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, Stambolić started scientific research in his early childhood. When he was a young teenager, his family moved to Austria, where his father became a famous professor in biomedicine, a key figure in Serbian-Austrian scientific collaboration.

When Serbia’s communist regime was about to fall in 1990, Stambolić emigrated to Germany, where he took a position as associate professor of medicine with the University of Munich.

His life as a Serbian scientist may not have been easy. He was arrested numerous times for his scientific activities, and he came under attack by the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose political arm was a powerful secret police within Serbia, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).

After his life became endangered by multiple arrests, Stambolić fled to the United States, where he applied for refugee status. After an arduous process, he was granted refugee status in the United Kingdom.

In Britain, Stambolić’s research got him into trouble and trouble got him into his scientific work. In 1993, he was convicted in Britain for the unlawful distribution of military-grade chemical weapons.

That year, a Serbian scientist from SIS, Vladimir ZvjezGora, was found with illegal material. He was charged in absentia and spent 22 months in a British jail. His scientific works, including a series about the chemical and medical properties of the Serb-made nerve gas V-90 were also found to be illegal in the UK by the British Home Office.

But in the US, Stambolić was not in trouble. In 1992, he was recruited by two American scientists, William W. Taylor and Walter W. White, who later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on the biological properties of radioactive isotopes.

In this series, we look at some of the scientific work done by Stamboli

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