This week I wandered through Louis Pasteur’s house and lab in Paris. There were three of us and probably 30,000 at the Louvre. His house and lab were left much as they were. Here is where the terms aerobic and anaerobic emerged. To me, the vials where he isolated the streptococcal bacteria, still with his writing on them and the rabid rabbit spinal cord that he grew the rabies virus in were as spectacular as the magnificent crypt. I was fascinated to learn that Pasteur was not a doctor – he could not inject the rabies and anthrax vaccines he invented.
I came out thinking “this man has saved far more lives than the Mona Lisa ever will, and why are scientists hardly revered these days – adulation goes to politicians, sportsmen and Kardashian types”. I am sure most people think the term “pasteurized/pasteurised” on the milk carton means the milk came from a pasture. And too many of my colleagues think they have to be doctors to get anywhere.
– David Butler
Even for those who find french people arrogant and the wine too expensive the history of neuroscience and medicine is marked by several important contributions from the land of the french.
Here are some examples: Paul Broca, Jean-martin Charcot, Gilles de la Tourette, Leannec, Marie and Pierre Curie …oh – yes, and René Descartes of course.
Don’t forget Ambroise Parré who was the first to describe PLP in 1545… 😉
Jeannerod, satre, merleau-ponty…