Francois Raspail, French scientist

Francois Raspail, French scientist

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Credit: CCI ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Francois Vincent Raspail (1794-1878), self-taught French chemist and botanist, later a doctor and a politician. His early work involved the study of cells using microscopes, using techniques such as iodine staining and freezing tissues. He turned to politics after the 1830 revolution, and was jailed in his position as president of the Society of the Rights of Man. While in prison, he discovered that camphor can be used to prevent parasitic diseases. He later stood for the presidency of France, but came fourth. He was jailed again by Napoleon III, and then exiled. Returning in 1862, he was elected to government in 1869. This is a French engraving from the mid-19th century.

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