Dating back to the seventeenth century—when King Louis XIV established the first institute for scientific research named ‘Acádémie des Sciences’—technology and science in France have come a long way. The development of groundbreaking inventions like radioactivity, refrigerators, photography and parachutes, amongst others, have made French scientists famous all over the world. France lays claim to being a major exporter of nuclear technology, as well as the inventor of safe radioactive waste disposal methods. Many utilitarian innovations have been made by French scientists; these famous scientists have won the prestigious ‘Nobel Prize’ for their invaluable contribution to the advancement of human society. Science would not have been the same had it not been for scientists like Henri Becquerel, who discovered ‘Radioactivity’; Antoine Lavoisier, who proposed the ‘Conservation of Mass’ theory and Blaise Pascal, who came up with the ‘Probability Theory’. French scientists have always been leading contributors to the world’s scientific advancements, be it in the field of chemistry, or molecular biology or radiology or the physical sciences. To know more, explore the collection of biographies of some of the most famous French scientists. Read for more information about their life stories, timelines along with interesting facts & trivia related to them.

Marie CurieMarie Curie
07 November 1867
First woman to win a Nobel Prize
Louis PasteurLouis Pasteur
27 December 1822
Chemist and Microbiologist

Blaise PascalBlaise Pascal
19 June 1623
French Mathematician, Physicist, Inventor, Writer

Antoine LavoisierAntoine Lavoisier
26 August 1743
Chemist

Pierre CuriePierre Curie
15 May 1859
Nobel Laureate in Physics

Irène Joliot-CurieIrène Joliot-Curie
12 September 1897
Chemist
Pierre-Simon LaplacePierre-Simon Laplace
23 March 1749
Scientist

René GirardRené Girard
25 December 1923
Philosopher

Évariste GaloisÉvariste Galois
25 October 1811
Mathematician

Louis de BroglieLouis de Broglie
15 August 1892
Physicist
Joseph FourierJoseph Fourier
21 March 1768
Mathematician & Physicist

Pierre de FermatPierre de Fermat
17 August 1601
Lawyer
Alexander GrothendieckAlexander Grothendieck
28 March 1928
Mathematician

Sophie GermainSophie Germain
01 April 1776
Mathematician

Henri BecquerelHenri Becquerel
15 December 1852
Physicist, Discoverer of Radioactivity
Augustin-Louis CauchyAugustin-Louis Cauchy
21 August 1789
Mathematician

Marquis de CondorcetMarquis de Condorcet
17 September 1743
Mathematician, Philosopher
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de BuffonGeorges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
07 September 1707
Naturalist

Augustin-Jean FresnelAugustin-Jean Fresnel
10 May 1788
Physicist

Frédéric Joliot-CurieFrédéric Joliot-Curie
19 March 1900
Physicist
Alexis CarrelAlexis Carrel
28 June 1873
Surgeon, Biologist

Claude BernardClaude Bernard
12 July 1813
Physiologist
Adrien-Marie LegendreAdrien-Marie Legendre
18 September 1752
Mathematician

Joseph Louis Gay-LussacJoseph Louis Gay-Lussac
06 December 1778
Chemist and Physicist

Léon FoucaultLéon Foucault
18 September 1819
Physicist

Charles MessierCharles Messier
26 June 1730
Astronomer
Jacques MonodJacques Monod
09 February 1910
Biologist
Joseph Louis LagrangeJoseph Louis Lagrange
25 January 1736
Mathematician and Astronomer

Johann Heinrich LambertJohann Heinrich Lambert
26 August 1728
Mathematician, Physicist and Astronomer

Gabriel LippmannGabriel Lippmann
16 August 1845
Physicist & Nobel Laureate

Alexandre Émile John YersinAlexandre Yersin
22 September 1863
Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis
Andre Marie AmpereAndre Marie Ampere
20 January 1775
Physicist and Mathematician

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François JacobFrançois Jacob
17 June 1920
Biologist

Claude Cohen-TannoudjiClaude Cohen-Tannoudji
01 April 1933
Physicist

Georges Charpak Georges Charpak
01 August 1924
Physicist

Henri MoissanHenri Moissan
28 September 1852
Chemist
Pierre Gilles de GennesPierre-Gilles de Gennes
24 October 1932
Physicist

Jean Baptiste PerrinJean Baptiste Perrin
30 September 1870
Physicist
Charles HermiteCharles Hermite
24 December 1822
Mathematician

François Auguste Victor GrignardVictor Grignard
06 May 1871
Chemist

Charles Robert Richet Charles Richet
25 August 1850
Physiologist
Jean-Marie LehnJean-Marie Lehn
30 September 1939
Chemist

Louis Eugène Félix Néel Louis Néel
22 November 1904
Physicist
Roger GuilleminRoger Guillemin
11 January 1924
Physiologist

Jean DaussetJean Dausset
19 October 1916
Immunologist

Alfred Kastler Alfred Kastler
03 May 1902
Physicist

Charles NicolleCharles Nicolle
21 September 1866
Bacteriologist

Charles Augustin De CoulombCharles Augustin De Coulomb
14 June 1736
French physicist
Paul SabatierPaul Sabatier
05 November 1854
Chemist

Henri PoincareHenri Poincare
29 April 1854
Mathematician and Philosopher

Andre WeilAndre Weil
06 May 1906
Mathematician

Sadi CarnotSadi Carnot
01 June 1796
Physicist and Scientist
René DéscartesRené Déscartes
31 March 1596
Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer

Jean Le Rond d’AlembertJean Le Rond d’Alembert
16 November 1717
Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher And Musical
André Michel LwoffAndré Lwoff
08 May 1902
Microbiologist

Antoine-Augustin ParmentierAntoine-Augustin Parmentier
12 August 1737
Botanist, Pharmacist, Physician, Agronomist,

Jean-Paul MaratJean-Paul Marat
24 May 1743
Politician, Journalist, Physician, Physicist,
Guillaume Le GentilGuillaume Le Gentil
 

Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744
Botanist, Zoologist, Scientist, Naturalist,
Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier
23 August 1769
Geologist, Anatomist, Paleontologist, Politician,

Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,
Cédric VillaniCédric Villani
05 October 1973
Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher

Joseph-Louis LagrangeJoseph-Louis Lagrange
25 January 1736
Mathematician, Astronomer, Physicist, Politician,
André-Marie AmpèreAndré-Marie Ampère
20 January 1775
French physicist

Gustave Le BonGustave Le Bon
07 May 1841
Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist,

Charles-Augustin de CoulombCharles-Augustin de Coulomb
14 June 1736
Physicist

Pope Sylvester IIPope Sylvester II
0940 AD
astronomer, mathematician, politician, cleric,
Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,
Nicolas Léonard Sadi CarnotNicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot
01 June 1796
Mathematician, Physicist, Engineer, Scientist

Pierre JoliotPierre Joliot
12 March 1932
Biologist, Biochemist, Professor

Matthieu RicardMatthieu Ricard
15 February 1946
Molecular biologist, Photographer, Bhikkhu,

Siméon Denis PoissonSiméon Denis Poisson
21 June 1781
Mathematician, Astronomer, Physicist, University
François AragoFrançois Arago
26 February 1786
Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, Politician,

Paul BrocaPaul Broca
28 June 1824
Physician, Anatomist, Anthropologist,

Paul LangevinPaul Langevin
23 January 1872
Physicist, Professor, Chemist, Philosopher of

Léon WalrasLéon Walras
16 December 1834
Economist, University teacher, Mathematician

Prosper MériméeProsper Mérimée
28 September 1803
Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Historian,
Mikhail Leonidovich GromovMikhail Leonidovich Gromov
23 December 1943
Mathematician, University teacher

Abraham de MoivreAbraham de Moivre
26 May 1667
Mathematician, Statistician
Lazare CarnotLazare Carnot
13 May 1753
Mathematician, Politician, Engineer, Officer,

Charles Lucien BonaparteCharles Lucien Bonaparte
24 May 1803
Biologist, Ornithologist, Zoologist, Ichthyologist

Audrey MestreAudrey Mestre
11 August 1974
Free-diver, Marine biologist
Joseph BlackJoseph Black
16 April 1728
Chemist, Physicist, Scientist, University teacher

Fred VargasFred Vargas
07 June 1957
Writer, Archaeologist, Novelist, Historian
Jean-Pierre SerreJean-Pierre Serre
15 September 1926
Mathematician, Topologist, Professor

Pierre GassendiPierre Gassendi
22 January 1592
Philosopher, Mathematician, Astronomer, Professor,

Jacques CharlesJacques Charles
12 November 1746
Physicist, Chemist, Inventor, Balloonist,

Gaspard MongeGaspard Monge
09 May 1746
Mathematician, Politician, Physicist, University
Urbain Le VerrierUrbain Le Verrier
11 March 1811
Astronomer, Mathematician, Politician

Marin MersenneMarin Mersenne
08 September 1588
Philosopher, Theologian, Mathematician,
Françoise Barré-SinoussiFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi
30 July 1947
Virologist

Serge HarocheSerge Haroche
11 September 1944
Physicist, University teacher
Jean Sylvain BaillyJean Sylvain Bailly
15 September 1736
Astronomer, Politician, Mathematician

Serge LangSerge Lang
19 May 1927
Mathematician
François VièteFrançois Viète
1540 AD
French mathematician