Antique Anatomy

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Claude Bernard

Source:  BIUM (Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de médecine et d'odontologie, Paris 

BIOGRAPHY:

Claude Bernard (12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878) was a French physiologist. Historian I. Bernard Cohen of Harvard University called Bernard "one of the greatest of all men of science".[1] Among many other accomplishments, he was one of the first to suggest the use of blind experiments to ensure the objectivity of scientific observations.[2] He was the first to define the term milieu intérieur, now known ashomeostasis.

Bernard was born in 1813 in the village of Saint-Julien[3] near Villefranche-sur-Saône. He received his early education in the Jesuit school of that town, and then proceeded to the college at Lyon, which, however, he soon left to become assistant in a druggist's shop.[3] Despite having a religious education, Bernard was an agnostic.[4] His leisure hours were devoted to the composition of a vaudeville comedy, and the success it achieved moved him to attempt a prose drama in five acts, Arthur de Bretagne.

In 1834, at the age of twenty-one, he went to Paris, armed with this play and an introduction to Saint-Marc Girardin, but the critic dissuaded him from adopting literature as a profession, and urged him rather to take up the study of medicine.[3] This advice Bernard followed, and in due course he becameinterne at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. In this way he was brought into contact with the great physiologist,François Magendie, who served as physician at the hospital. Bernard became 'preparateur' (lab assistant) at the Collège de France in 1841.

Memorial plaque in Paris marking the site of Claude Bernard's laboratory from 1847 until his death in 1878.

In 1845, Bernard married Marie Françoise "Fanny" Martin for convenience; the marriage was arranged by a colleague and her dowry helped finance his experiments. In 1847 he was appointed Magendie's deputy-professor at the college, and in 1855 he succeeded him as full professor. His field of research was considered inferior at the time, the laboratory assigned to him was simply a "regular cellar".[5] Some time previously Bernard had been chosen the first occupant of the newly instituted chair of physiology at the Sorbonne, but no laboratory was provided for his use. It was Louis Napoleon who, after an interview with him in 1864, repaired the deficiency, building a laboratory at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in the Jardin des Plantes. At the same time, Napoleon III established a professorship which Bernard accepted, leaving the Sorbonne. In the same year, 1868, he was also admitted a member of the Académie française and elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

When he died on 10 February 1878, he was accorded a public funeral – an honor which had never before been bestowed by France on a man of science.[3] He was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

[source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Bernard]