May 7

1885: Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, microbiologist who laid the foundation for vaccines. After testing the rabies vaccine in 50 dogs, he tested the vaccine on 9-year-old Joseph Meister who was bitten by a rabid dog with a physician in attendance. The experiment was controversial and he was brought before the French National Academy of Medicine. Pasteur is credited with many scientific breakthroughs in microbiology, including the germ theory of disease which led to pasteurization. He claimed to have developed a successful anthrax vaccine which he promoted;  but the vaccine was developed by a veterinarian, Toussaint. Other deceptions were uncovered when in his secret laboratory notebooks were given to the French National Library in 1946, where they could be accessed only in 1971.

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