Louis Pasteur Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1822 - 1895 *** Full Name: Louis Pasteur *** Occupation: French Chemist and Microbiologist *** Date of Birth: Louis Pasteur was born on December 27th 1822 *** Place of Birth: Louis Pasteur was born in Dole, Jura, France *** Family background: His father was Jean-Joseph Pasteur and his mother was Jeanne-Etiennette Roqui. The family were of Catholic origins, his family were poor and his father was a tanner by trade *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Arbois when the family moved there where he was a small child *** Education: Louis Pasteur attended school in 1831 ***
Louis Pasteur Fact 1: Louis Pasteur was born on 27th December 1822 and during the 19th century period in history when scientific discovery and inventions were being developed at a rapid rate and significant developments were made in biology, physics, medicine and technology as well as scientific discoveries and innovations in mathematics, physics, biology, electricity and chemistry were moving very fast.
Louis Pasteur Fact 2: Not a particularly bright student in school, during 1839 he attended the College Royal de Besancon where he earned is BA degree. Following that he continued with a science course with special mathematics. Although he failed the first set of examinations he took them again and passed with a low grade in chemistry.
Louis Pasteur Fact 3: By 1842, on his second attempt he passed the entrance examination for the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris where he would graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1845.
Louis Pasteur Fact 4: The following year he would be appointed to the College de Trournon as a professor of physics however Antoine Jermoe Balard who worked at Ecole wanted Pasteur to work with him as a graduate assistant on chemistry courses and Pasteur agreed.
Louis Pasteur Fact 5: At the same time he began to research crystallography upon which he wrote to theses on in physics the other in chemistry.
Louis Pasteur Fact 6: By 1848 he had joined the faculty of the University of Strasbourg as the Chair of Chemistry. Here he met Marie Laurent and they would be married in 1849.
Louis Pasteur Fact 7: By 1854 Lille University was opening its new faculty in sciences and named Pasteur its dean. It was here that Pasteur began his work on fermentation and where he used his often quoted comment remark “In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.”
Louis Pasteur Fact 8: During 1857 Pasteur and his family moved to Paris where he was appointed to the Ecole Normale Superieure as its director of scientific studies.
Louis Pasteur Fact 9: By 1862 he would be appointed as the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-Arts professor of physics, chemistry and geology. A position he held until he resigned in 1867.
Louis Pasteur Fact 10: Early discoveries in his career include that molecules exist as mirror images of each other, in other words, left or right handed versions. He also spotted that molecules created by living things are always left handed.
Louis Pasteur Fact 11: With this incredible discovery a central move forward was made in microbiology which would underpin the modern development of drugs and enhance our understanding of DNA.
Louis Pasteur Fact 12: He was also able to disprove several preconceived ideas that were only based in myth. One being that food was spoiled because of the contamination by microbes from in the air and that maggots did not form simply from rotting flesh but were actually from eggs laid by common house flies.
Louis Pasteur Fact 13: In 1863 he was presented with a dilemma by Napoleon the III. French wine was being spoiled during transportation. Pasteur established that the wine was being spoiled because of contamination but that boiling the wine was counterproductive because it ruined the wine. So, what he managed to establish was that if wine was heated to fifty five degrees, the bacteria was killed and the wines flavor remained unspoiled, this method would be called pasteurization.
Louis Pasteur Fact 14: After his marriage, he and Marie together had five children but only two of them survived into adulthood. Three of his daughters died of typhoid and their deaths would have a profound effect on the father.
Louis Pasteur Fact 15: Although a hundred years before Edward Jenner discovered that cowpox could protect a person from smallpox, it would be Pasteur who would discover that a weakened version of a particular disease could help the body produce an immunity against catching the full blown disease and thereby created vaccines against highly contagious diseases.
Louis Pasteur Fact 16: He would also be responsible for creating a vaccination against the human form of rabies.
Louis Pasteur Fact 17: In 1887 he established The Pasteur Institute as a means of continuing his work and brought together other scientists as well as various other specialties.
Louis Pasteur Fact 18: Between 1868 and 1894 Pasteur suffered strokes periodically but on September 28th 1895 aged seventy two he failed to recover from one such stroke and died in Marnes-la-Coquette in France. In honor of his success in the fields of science he was honored with a state funeral and his body laid to rest in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Later he was reinterred in the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
Influence and Legacy of Louis Pasteur: His legacy in his work is still being used by scientist today and savings hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives every year. Although there is some controversy over his methods and how strict and controlled he was in his experiments, he was nevertheless one of the greatest scientists of all time.
List of Awards given to Louis Pasteur: Rumbord Medal (1856, 1892) *** ForMemRS (1869) *** Copley Medal (1874) *** Albert Medal (1882) *** Leeuwenhoek Medal (1975) ***
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