Louis Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822 in Dole, in the region of Jura, France. His discovery that most infectious diseases are caused by germs, known as the "germ theory of disease," is one of the most important in medical history. His work became the foundation for the science of microbiology, and a cornerstone of modern medicine.
Pasteur's phenomenal contributions to microbiology and medicine can be summarized as follows: First, he championed changes in hospital practices to minimize the spread of disease by microbes. Second, he discovered that weakened forms of a microbe could be used as an immunization against more virulent forms of the microbe. Third, Pasteur found that rabies was transmitted by agents so small they could not be seen under a microscope, thus revealing the world of viruses. As a result he developed techniques to vaccinate dogs against rabies, and to treat humans bitten by rabid dogs. And fourth, Pasteur developed "pasteurization," a process by which harmful microbes in perishable food products are destroyed using heat, without destroying the food.
Pasteur was a thorough, highly intuitive researcher who always considered the wider ramifications to his work. While he revered science, Pasteur always believed that there were spiritual values that transcend it. Pasteur was also a capable public speaker, often defending his positions on various controversies with eloquence.
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Germ Theory and Its Applications to Medicine & On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery
by Louis Pasteur, Joseph Lister
Pasteur and Modern Science
by Rene J. Dubos, Thomas D. Brock
An ideal introduction to the life of Louis Pasteur. Originally published in 1960. This pocket-sized reprint includes new illustrations and a new chapter.
The Private Science of Louis Pasteur
by Gerald L. Geison
Geison's controversial but stunning biography raises many important questions about the nature of science, past and present. Representing some of the newer interpretive trends in the history of science and medicine, it requires us to reevaluate our heroes and consider the complexities of science as it is actually created instead of merely clinging to comforting and heroic myths. - Elizabeth Fee, New England Journal of Medicine
by Patrice Debre, Elborg Forster (Translator)
Originally published in France to commemorate the centennial of Pasteur's death and now translated in English, this excellent biography traces Pasteur's career and illuminates his many achievements. The author makes clear how "The Pasteurian revolution" is the link between theory and practice, and how medicine can no longer do without science and hospitals must no longer be mere hospices.
Louis Pasteur: Young Scientist
by Francene Sabin, Susan Elizabeth Swan (Photographer)
Traces the childhood and young adult years of the renowned French microbiologist whose interest in chemistry resulted in the process called pasteurization. Reading level 4 - 8 years.
Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
Four Academy Award Nominations including Best Picture. Awarded Three Academy Awards including Best Actor for Paul Muni, Best Original Story, Best Screenplay.
Louis Pasteur Mini Biography from BIO
History of Pasteurization from The History Channel
The Father of Germ Theory Louis Pasteur Documentary
Louis Pasteur Biography at the Pasteur Institute, Paris
Timeline fo Louis Pasteur at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Related Figures in the Lucidcafé Library