Louis Pasteur


French Chemist and Microbiologist who created the first vaccine for Rabies and Anthrax

Author Quotes

As I show you this liquid, I too could tell you, 'I took my drop of water from the immensity of creation, and I took it filled with that fecund jelly, that is, to use the language of science, full of the elements needed for the development of lower creatures. And then I waited, and I observed, and I asked questions of it, and I asked it to repeat the original act of creation for me; what a sight it would be! But it is silent! It has been silent for several years, ever since I began these experiments. Yes! And it is because I have kept away from it, and am keeping away from it to this moment, the only thing that it has not been given to man to produce, I have kept away from it the germs that are floating in the air, I have kept away from it life, for life is the germ, and the germ is life.'

Live in the serene peace of laboratories and libraries

To demonstrate experimentally that a microscopic organism actually is the cause of a disease and the agent of contagion, I know no other way, in the present state of Science, than to subject the microbe (the new and happy term introduced by M. S‚dillot) to the method of cultivation out of the body.

Bernard was right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything. [deathbed words]

My plan of study is traced for this coming year... I am hoping to develop it shortly in the most successful manner... I think that I have already told you that I am on the verge of mysteries, and that the veil which covers them is getting thinner and thinner. The nights seem to me too long, yet I do not complain... I am often scolded by Mme. Pasteur, but I console her by telling her that I shall lead her to fame.

We affirm the neutrality of Science ... Science is of no country. ... But if Science has no country, the scientist must keep in mind all that may work towards the glory of his country. In every great scientist will be found a great patriot.

Chance favors only the prepared mind.

My present and most fixed opinion regarding the nature of alcoholic fermentation is this: The chemical act of fermentation is essentially a phenomenon correlative with a vital act, beginning and ending with the latter. I believe that there is never any alcoholic fermentation without their being simultaneously the organization, development, multiplication of the globules, or the pursued, continued life of globules which are already formed.

What is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.

Gentlemen, it is the microbes who will have the last word.

Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation recover from the mortal blow struck by this simple experiment.

When I approach a child he inspires in me two sentiments tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.

HEART, n. An automatic, muscular blood- pump. Figuratively, this useful organ is said to be the seat of emotions and sentiments?a very pretty fancy which, however, is nothing but a survival of a once universal belief. It is now known that the sentiments and emotions reside in the stomach, being evolved from food by chemical action of the gastric fluid. The exact process by which a beefsteak becomes a feeling?tender or not, according to the age of the animal from which it was cut; the successive stages of elaboration through which a caviar sandwich is transmuted to a quaint fancy and reappears as a pungent epigram; the marvelous functional methods of converting a hard-boiled egg into religious contrition, or a cream-puff into a sigh of sensibility?these things have been patiently ascertained by M. Pasteur, and by him expounded with convincing lucidity.

No, a thousand times no, there does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are science and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit to the tree that bears it.

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.

Herrmann Pidoux and Armand Trousseau stated 'Disease exists within us, because of us, and through us', Pasteur did not entirely disagree, 'This is true for certain diseases', he wrote cautiously, only to add immediately: 'I do not think that it is true for all of them'.

One must work; one must work. I have done what I could.

Without theory, practice is but routine born of habit. Theory alone can bring forth and develop the spirit of invention. ... [Do not] share the opinion of those narrow minds who disdain everything in science which has not an immediate application. ... A theoretical discovery has but the merit of its existence: it awakens hope, and that is all. But let it be cultivated, let it grow, and you will see what it will become.

I am on the edge of mysteries and the veil is getting thinner and thinner.

Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.

Worship the spirit of criticism. If reduced to itself it is not an awakener of ideas or a stimulant to great things, but, without it, everything is fallible; it always has the last word.

I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity.

Science advances through tentative answers to a series of more and more subtle questions which reach deeper and deeper into the essence of natural phenomena.

You bring me the deepest joy that can be felt by a man whose invincible belief is that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will unite, not to destroy, but to build, and that the future will belong to those who will have done most for suffering humanity.

I beseech you to take interest in these sacred domains so expressively called laboratories. Ask that there be more and that they be adorned for these are the temples of the future, wealth and well-being. It is here that humanity will grow, strengthen and improve. Here, humanity will learn to read progress and individual harmony in the works of nature, while humanity's own works are all too often those of barbarism, fanaticism and destruction.

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French Chemist and Microbiologist who created the first vaccine for Rabies and Anthrax