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.

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
Louis de BroglieLouis de Broglie
15 August 1892
Physicist

Joseph FourierJoseph Fourier
21 March 1768
Mathematician & Physicist

Sophie GermainSophie Germain
01 April 1776
Mathematician

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

Joseph Louis Gay-LussacJoseph Louis Gay-Lussac
06 December 1778
Chemist and Physicist
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de BuffonGeorges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
07 September 1707
Naturalist

Charles MessierCharles Messier
26 June 1730
Astronomer
Frédéric Joliot-CurieFrédéric Joliot-Curie
19 March 1900
Physicist

Adrien-Marie LegendreAdrien-Marie Legendre
18 September 1752
Mathematician

Alexis CarrelAlexis Carrel
28 June 1873
Surgeon, Biologist
Claude BernardClaude Bernard
12 July 1813
Physiologist

Augustin-Jean FresnelAugustin-Jean Fresnel
10 May 1788
Physicist
Léon FoucaultLéon Foucault
18 September 1819
Physicist

Jacques MonodJacques Monod
09 February 1910
Biologist

Joseph Louis LagrangeJoseph Louis Lagrange
25 January 1736
Mathematician and Astronomer

Alexandre Émile John YersinAlexandre Yersin
22 September 1863
Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis
Gabriel LippmannGabriel Lippmann
16 August 1845
Physicist & Nobel Laureate
Johann Heinrich LambertJohann Heinrich Lambert
26 August 1728
Mathematician, Physicist and Astronomer

François JacobFrançois Jacob
17 June 1920
Biologist

Charles HermiteCharles Hermite
24 December 1822
Mathematician

Henri MoissanHenri Moissan
28 September 1852
Chemist
François Auguste Victor GrignardVictor Grignard
06 May 1871
Chemist

Andre Marie AmpereAndre Marie Ampere
20 January 1775
Physicist and Mathematician

Claude Cohen-TannoudjiClaude Cohen-Tannoudji
01 April 1933
Physicist

Pierre Gilles de GennesPierre-Gilles de Gennes
24 October 1932
Physicist

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Jean Baptiste PerrinJean Baptiste Perrin
30 September 1870
Physicist
Georges Charpak Georges Charpak
01 August 1924
Physicist

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
Alfred Kastler Alfred Kastler
03 May 1902
Physicist

Charles NicolleCharles Nicolle
21 September 1866
Bacteriologist
Jean DaussetJean Dausset
19 October 1916
Immunologist

René DéscartesRené Déscartes
31 March 1596
Mathematician, Philosopher and Writer

Henri PoincareHenri Poincare
29 April 1854
Mathematician and Philosopher

Paul SabatierPaul Sabatier
05 November 1854
Chemist

Sadi CarnotSadi Carnot
01 June 1796
Physicist and Scientist
Évariste GaloisÉvariste Galois
25 October 1811
Mathematician

Jean Le Rond d’AlembertJean Le Rond d’Alembert
16 November 1717
Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher And Musical

Charles Augustin De CoulombCharles Augustin De Coulomb
14 June 1736
French physicist

André Michel LwoffAndré Lwoff
08 May 1902
Microbiologist
Andre WeilAndre Weil
06 May 1906
Mathematician

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

Jean-Baptiste LamarckJean-Baptiste Lamarck
01 August 1744
Botanist, Zoologist, Scientist, Naturalist,

Benoit MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot
20 November 1924
Mathematician, Economist, Professor, Scientist,
Vilfredo ParetoVilfredo Pareto
15 July 1848
Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist,

Joseph-Louis LagrangeJoseph-Louis Lagrange
25 January 1736
Mathematician, Astronomer, Physicist, Politician,
Cédric VillaniCédric Villani
05 October 1973
Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher

Georges CuvierGeorges Cuvier
23 August 1769
Geologist, Anatomist, Paleontologist, Politician,

André-Marie AmpèreAndré-Marie Ampère
20 January 1775
French physicist
Pope Sylvester IIPope Sylvester II
0940 AD
astronomer, mathematician, politician, cleric,

Audrey MestreAudrey Mestre
11 August 1974
Free-diver, Marine biologist
Nicolas Léonard Sadi CarnotNicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot
01 June 1796
Mathematician, Physicist, Engineer, Scientist

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

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

Luc MontagnierLuc Montagnier
18 August 1932
Physician, Biologist, Virologist, Researcher,
Pierre JoliotPierre Joliot
12 March 1932
Biologist, Biochemist, Professor
Siméon Denis PoissonSiméon Denis Poisson
21 June 1781
Mathematician, Astronomer, Physicist, University

Abraham de MoivreAbraham de Moivre
26 May 1667
Mathematician, Statistician

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

Paul BrocaPaul Broca
28 June 1824
Physician, Anatomist, Anthropologist,
Léon WalrasLéon Walras
16 December 1834
Economist, University teacher, Mathematician

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

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

Prosper MériméeProsper Mérimée
28 September 1803
Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Historian,

François AragoFrançois Arago
26 February 1786
Astronomer, Mathematician, Physicist, Politician,
Jean-Pierre SerreJean-Pierre Serre
15 September 1926
Mathematician, Topologist, Professor

Fred VargasFred Vargas
07 June 1957
Writer, Archaeologist, Novelist, Historian
Lazare CarnotLazare Carnot
13 May 1753
Mathematician, Politician, Engineer, Officer,

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

Pierre GassendiPierre Gassendi
22 January 1592
Philosopher, Mathematician, Astronomer, Professor,
Joseph BlackJoseph Black
16 April 1728
Chemist, Physicist, Scientist, University teacher

Urbain Le VerrierUrbain Le Verrier
11 March 1811
Astronomer, Mathematician, Politician
Françoise Barré-SinoussiFrançoise Barré-Sinoussi
30 July 1947
Virologist

Marin MersenneMarin Mersenne
08 September 1588
Philosopher, Theologian, Mathematician,

Mikhail Leonidovich GromovMikhail Leonidovich Gromov
23 December 1943
Mathematician, University teacher

François VièteFrançois Viète
1540 AD
French mathematician
Gaspard MongeGaspard Monge
09 May 1746
Mathematician, Politician, Physicist, University

Henri LebesgueHenri Lebesgue
28 June 1875
Mathematician, Professor
Serge LangSerge Lang
19 May 1927
Mathematician

Raymond QueneauRaymond Queneau
21 February 1903
Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter,

Camille FlammarionCamille Flammarion
26 February 1842
astronomer, writer, balloonist, science fiction

Jacques HadamardJacques Hadamard
08 December 1865
Mathematician, Professor
Serge HarocheSerge Haroche
11 September 1944
Physicist, University teacher