France

Jean-Martin Charcot – A Pioneer in Neurology

Jean-Martin Charcot – A Pioneer in Neurology

On November 29, 1825, French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot was born. Charcot is best known today for his work on hypnosis and hysteria, in particular his work with his hysteria patient Louise Augustine Gleizes. He is also known as “the founder of modern neurology“, and his name has been associated with at least 15 medical eponyms, including Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease and Charcot disease (better known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, motor neurone disease, or…
Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

Alain-René Lesage and The Devil upon Two Sticks

On November 17, 1747, French novelist and playwright Alain-René Lesage passed away. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sticks (1707, Le Diable boiteux), his comedy Turcaret (1709), and his picaresque novel Gil Blas (1715–1735). Lesage was born in Sarzeau, a commune in the Morbihan department of Brittany in north-western France, located on the Rhuys peninsula between the Gulf of Morbihan and the Atlantic Ocean.…
Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

Auguste Laurent and Organic Chemistry

On November 14, 1807, French chemist Auguste Laurent was born. Laurent developed organic chemistry as a distinct science. For a while, he assisted Jean Dumas, and extended his work, understanding organic compounds as derivatives of hydrocarbon molecules. He devised a systematic nomenclature for organic chemistry based on structural grouping of atoms within molecules to determine how the molecules combine in organic reactions. Auguste Laurent was born in the district of…
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…
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