Louis Pasteur

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  • Topic: Louis Pasteur, Germ theory of disease, Spontaneous generation
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  • Published : January 15, 2006
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Louis Pasteur
Louis Pasteur was born in Dole on December 27,1822, the only son of a poorly educated tanner. Louis Pasteur grew up in the small town of Arbois. Louis was not an outstanding student during his years of elementary education, preferring fishing and drawing to other subjects.

Louis Pasteur's father, however, did not see his son becoming an Artist, and Louis, himself, was showing increasing interest in chemistry and other scientific subjects. The highest wish that father Pasteur had for his son was that he complete his education in the local schools and become a Professor in the college at Arbois. The headmaster of the college recognized that Louis could do much better and convinced father and son that Louis should try for the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. This prestigious French University was founded specifically to train outstanding students for University careers in science and letters. It was here that Pasteur entered and began his long journey of scientific discovery.

In 1847 Pasteur earned a doctorate at the Ecole Normale in Paris, with a focus on both physics and chemistry. Becoming an assistant to one of his teachers, he began research that led to a significant discovery. Pasteur made important contributions to the field of organic chemistry during the mid – 1800s, developing various vaccines, including one for rabies, and disproving the theory of spontaneous generation. He is considered the founder of the field of microbiology, working with the germ theory of disease to establish and explain the cause for many diseases. In 1848 Pasteur was appointed professor of physics at the Dijon Lycee but was shortly called to the University of Stasbourg as professor of chemistry. There, on May 29,1849, Pasteur married the daughter of the rector of the university, Marie Laurent, by whom he was to have five children, only two of whom survived childhood.
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