Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

Young Louis was not a particularly good student; He was a boy who never attended class, probably because he preferred to have been fishing or drawing.

His father wanted a more lucrative, less toxic and exhausting profession for his son, so he oriented him towards teaching. He had not an iota of interest in revolutionizing the world, so Louis ended up studying philosophy at university.

Poor grades kept him in school longer than he should have, prompting chemist Antoine Balard, one of the scientists who identified the chemical element bromine, to take an interest in him. Under Balard’s tutelage, he investigated crystallography, which led him to discover molecular asymmetry .

chemical discoveries
Louis Pasteur wrote the book on how to make milk safe to drink and discovered some ways to vaccinate against diseases. Credits: Library of Congress on VisualHunt

All of this was while I was studying to be a teacher; for he still had no interest in becoming a scientist, even though he taught physics at two different universities.

“In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.” – Luis Pasteur

It seemed that, like it or not, Pasteur had a keen scientific intellect that chance was intended to favor … although not immediately. Still as a professor, he was appointed head of the science department of the most prestigious graduate school in Paris.

Under his direction, standards for research were regulated, leading to increased competition for places as well as improved test results. However, some of his measurements were draconian; twice, under his tenure, the students rallied against him.

These first forays into academic authority served as an advancement of the discipline that he would exercise throughout his career as a scientist . As he grew bacteria to inoculate chickens, his earliest foray into vaccine development, carefully recording every step of his experiments and results, became the standard for current scientific documentation.

Today, Louis Pasteur is better known for making milk safe to drink than for the important work he did in the field of vaccination .

famous chemists and their contributions
These discoveries have allowed us to advance a great deal in science. Louis Pasteur

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