France

Jean Dausset and the Major Histocompatibility Complex

Jean Dausset and the Major Histocompatibility Complex

On October 19, 1916,  French immunologist Jean Dausset was born. Dausset received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1980 along with Baruj Benacerraf and George Davis Snell for their discovery and characterization of the genes making the major histocompatibility complex. Jean-Baptiste-Gabriel-Joachim Dausset’s father worked at the Bayonne Hospital at Biarritz. After the family moved to Paris, Dausset began his formal education and later studied medicine at the University of Paris.…
Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

Jules Quicherat – the Father of French Archaeology

On October 13, 1814, French archaeologist and historian Jules Étienne Joseph Quicherat was born. Quicherat was one of the founders of archaeology in France. In 1847, he inaugurated a course of archaeological lectures at the École des Chartes. His students circulated his principles throughout France, recognizing him as the “founder of national archaeology”. He wrote on the history of medieval France, and also edited texts of the trial and rehabilitation…
Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

On October 8, 1850, French chemist Henry Louis Le Chatelier was born. Le Châtelier is most famous for devising Le Chatelier’s principle, with the help of his partner Jasper Rossi, used by chemists to predict the effect a changing condition has on a system in chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier was born in Paris, France, the first of six children [1] of French materials engineer Louis Le Chatelier, an influential figure who…
Jacques Necker and the Finances of France

Jacques Necker and the Finances of France

On September 30, 1732, Swiss banker, French statesman and finance minister for Louis XVI Jacques Necker was born. Necker helped make decisions that were critical in creating political and social conditions that contributed to the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789. In 1780, Necker published the Compte rendu au roi, in which he summarized governmental income and expenditures to provide the first record of royal finances ever made public. Jacques…
Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

Charles Nicolle and the Transmission of Typhus

On September 21, 1866, French bacteriologist Charles Juley Henry Nicolle was born. Nicolle was awarded the 1928 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his identification of lice as the transmitter of epidemic typhus. Charles Nicolle was probably inspired to join the field of medicine because his father Eugène Nicolle was a doctor in the French city Rouen. Nicolle attended the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen and earned his M.D. in 1893 from the…
Duchenne de Boulogne’s Research in Neurology

Duchenne de Boulogne’s Research in Neurology

On September 17, 1806, French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne was born. Duchenne de Boulogne revived Galvani‘s research and greatly advanced the science of electrophysiology. The era of modern neurology developed from Duchenne‘s understanding of neural pathways and his diagnostic innovations including deep tissue biopsy, nerve conduction tests (NCS), and clinical photography. He was first to describe several nervous and muscular disorders and, in developing medical treatment for them, created electrodiagnosis and…
Jean Sylvain Bailly and the Orbit of Halley’s Comet

Jean Sylvain Bailly and the Orbit of Halley’s Comet

On September 15, 1736, French astronomer, mathematician, freemason, and political leader of the early part of the French Revolution Jean Sylvain Bailly was born. Bailly computed an orbit for Halley’s Comet (1759) and studied the four satellites of Jupiter then known. He was the first Mayor of Paris and presided over the Tennis Court Oath. Jean Sylvain Bailly came from a family of artists. His father was an artist and supervisor…
Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

On August 29, 1821, French archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet was born. De Morillet was the first to organize man’s prehistoric cultural developments into a sequence of epochs. Based on the idea that older specimens of man were more primitive structurally and culturally, he created a ladder-like model of the evolution of man. This model was the basis for the idea of linear evolution of men. De…
André Blondel and the Oscillograph

André Blondel and the Oscillograph

On August 28, 1863, French engineer and physicist André-Eugène Blondel was born. Blondel is the inventor of the electromechanical oscillograph, a device that allowed electrical researchers to observe the intensity of alternating currents, and a system of photometric units of measurement, such as the lumen and other new photometric units for use in photometry, based on the metre and the Violle candle. André Blondel was employed as an engineer by the Lighthouses…
Denis Pétau’s Work in Chronology

Denis Pétau’s Work in Chronology

On August 21, 1583, French Jesuit scholar Denis Pétau was born. Pétau, also known as Dionysius Petavius, was one of the most brilliant scholars in a learned age. Carrying on and improving the chronological labors of Joseph Justus Scaliger, he published in 1627 an Opus de doctrina temporum. Denis Pétau was born at Orléans, where he had his initial education. He attended the University of Paris, where he successfully defended…
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