Louis Pasteur

Text-only Preview

Mystery Scientist Answer Sheet
Pasteur



Louis Pasteur

Mini-Biography


Louis Pasteur, (1822-1895) was a brilliant French scientist, who is noted for his work on
disproving spontaneous generation, proposing the "germ theory of disease", creating the
technique of pasteurization, and developing the rabies vaccine, among others. In fact, to classify
Pasteur as a scientist of merely one discipline is entirely misleading. More appropriately, he was
a chemist, a microbiologist, a medical researcher, an industrial scientist, and a crystallographer.
For all of his discoveries and his long storied career, he is truly recognized as one of the greatest
scientific minds of all time.

Clues

1. The rooster represents Pasteur's studies on fowl cholera. Results of these studies would lead
to his conclusion that attenuated or dead germs (bacteria) could be inoculated into the fowl,
thus immunizing them against further infection.

2. The image of the church represents Pasteur's devotion to the Catholic Church. In fact,
engraved on his tombstone are his own words to that effect, "Happy the man who bears
within him a divinity, an ideal of beauty and obeys it; an ideal of art, an ideal of science, an
ideal of country, an ideal of the virtues of the Gospel."

3. Pasteur's first scientific work was in the area of crystallography. He was successfully able to
demonstrate that two forms of tartaric acid crystals thought to be similar in chemical
properties and crystalline form were different, and explained the seeming inconsistency.

4. Upon the request of the French government, Pasteur studied silk worms to find out what was
plaguing the source of a once prosperous industry. He would go on to discover that the

Mystery Scientist Answer Sheet
Pasteur

worms were afflicted with two diseases, and isolating healthy worms from sick ones could
easily remedy much of the problem.

5. These are the chemical properties of tartaric acid, which Pasteur studied at one point. Refer
to Answer #3.

6. The microscope and image of bacteria represent Pasteur's work with The Germ Theory of
Disease. In fact, many recognize Pasteur as the founder of bacteriology.

7. The French flag or 'drapeau' is symbolic of Pasteur's native homeland.

8. This image is a photographic replica of the famous curved-neck flask used by Pasteur in his
classical experiment, which refuted spontaneous generation.

9. L'Ecole Normale Supérieure is the prestigious university in Paris which Pasteur attended as a
student and would return later in his life as Director of Scientific Studies.

10. The wine and milk images represent two products and related industries that have profited
directly from Pasteur's work on fermentation and pasteurization.


Picture credit: Portrait by Albert Edelfelt, 1885, Musee d'Orsay, Paris