Western Culture Global Presents

The Top 100 Heroes of Western Culture
These individuals have most contributed to replacing ignorance with knowledge, savagery with civilization, disease with health, tyranny with liberty, poverty with abundance, and despair with happiness.

#12: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and a pioneer in approaching medical problems scientifically. The germ theory of disease, the idea that microorganisms cause disease, was largely the work of Pasteur.

Through his experiments on fermentations, he proved that various microorganisms were responsible for the process of fermentation, thus launching the science of bacteriology. Then Pasteur turned his focus to human diseases. His desire to do more than merely identify disease-causing germs led him to a preventive rabies vaccination. In the 1890s, vaccination was extended to diphtheria, typhoid fever, cholera and plague, creating a modern immunological science.

The work of Pasteur and the many others who followed him in isolating the specific bacteriological causes of many diseases had immense impact. By providing an effective means of treating and preventing infectious diseases, they revolutionized medicine.

Pasteur’s contribution is broader than his launching of the science of bacteriology. He was one of the first to apply modern experimental science to medicine. In the process, he helped to demonstrate that science is not a mere intellectual endeavor largely divorced from the real world, but that it can have a vital role in directly making possible healthier, longer and ultimately happier lives for people the world over.

Go to #13: George Washington

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