La correspondance de F.-A. Pouchet avec les membres de l'Académie des Sciences: une réévaluation du débat sur la génération spontanée

Abstract : The controversy between Pasteur and Pouchet on spontaneous generation (1859-1864) has received great interest in the sociology of scientific knowledge. This paper shows that some statements were shifted by Pennetier's biased version (1907). The study of the correspondence between Pouchet and the members of the Académie des Sciences reveals that Pouchet was on intimate terms with many members of this institution, and also that the two commissions appointed in 1862 and 1864 did not collude with any Pastorian lobby. The discovery of Pouchet's forgery leads to a quite different estimate of this controversy. Pouchet's defeat can be explained by his repeated retreats in front of the commissions, his dogmatic faith in heterogeny, lobbying by the press, and an immoderate need for glory. Beyond the lack of replies to the rationale against heterogeny, such a transgression of the norms of scientific ethos seems to have been a source of irritation among the Academicians.
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Journal articles
Archives Européennes de Sociologie / European Journal of Sociology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 1999, 40, pp.257-276
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Contributor : Dominique Raynaud <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 25, 2005 - 12:23:19 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 16, 2018 - 1:58:15 AM
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Dominique Raynaud. La correspondance de F.-A. Pouchet avec les membres de l'Académie des Sciences: une réévaluation du débat sur la génération spontanée. Archives Européennes de Sociologie / European Journal of Sociology, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 1999, 40, pp.257-276. 〈halshs-00006160〉

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