Culture Global Presents
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.
Pasteurs 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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