Louis Pasteur


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

Author Quotes

A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.

If science has no country, the scientist should have one, and ascribe to it the influence which his works may have in this world.

The greatest disorder of the mind is to let will direct it.

Acknowledging the role of molecules that have stereoisomers, some the mirror image of the others, and microorganisms whose chemistry prefers only one of those forms.

Imagination should give wings to our thoughts but we always need decisive experimental proof, and when the moment comes to draw conclusions and to interpret the gathered observations, imagination must be checked and documented by the factual results of the experiment.

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 of the tree which bears it.

Analogy cannot serve as proof.

Intuition is given only to him who has undergone long preparation to receive it.

There is no such thing as a special category of science called applied science; there is science and its applications, which are related to one another as the fruit is related to the tree that has borne it.

Are the atoms of the dextroacid (tartaric) grouped in the spirals of a right-hand helix or situated at the angles of an irregular tetrahedron, or arranged in such or such particular unsymmetrical fashion? We are unable to reply to these questions. But there can be no reason for doubting that the grouping of the atoms has an unsymmetrical arrangement with a non-superimposable image. It is not less certain that the atoms of the laevo-acid realize precisely an unsymmetrical arrangement of the inverse of the above.

It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.

These microscopic organisms form an entire world composed of species, families and varieties whose history, which has barely begun to be written, is already fertile in prospects and findings of the highest importance. The names of these organisms are very numerous and will have to be defined and in part discarded. The word microbe which has the advantage of being shorter and carrying a more general meaning, and of having been approved by my illustrious friend, M. Littr‚, the most competent linguist in France, is one we will adopt.

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.

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