Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist, standing trial

Antoine Lavoisier, French chemist, standing trial


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Antoine Lavoisier. Engraving of Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), French chemist, being tried during the French Revolution by a radical, revolu- tionary tribunal. Lavoisier (standing, at left) was prosecuted because he had been a tax official. The tribunal ignored the fact that Lavoisier had tried to introduce reforms whilst in office and was of great scientific worth to France. The president of the tribunal claimed that "the Repub- lic has no need of scientists". Lavoisier was guillotined on 8 May 1794. His friend, Lagrange, said that it took a moment to remove his head, but it could take a century to produce another like it. The radicals fell from power just 2 months later.

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