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Science and Medicine

In much the same way that the intellectual climate of France has stimulated cultural and artistic achievement, progress in scientific research has also been encouraged. During the 18th and 19th centuries such scientists as the marquis de Laplace and the Broglie family in physics, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac in chemistry, and the conte de Buffon and the chevalier de Lamarck in biology contributed significantly to their fields. Toward the end of the 19th century the husband-and-wife team of Marie and Pierre Curie began the research into radiation and nuclear physics that made them famous.

French science has also been notable during the 20th century, and French scientists have received many Nobel prizes in chemistry and in physics. Marie Curie was the only person to be awarded both prizes. (See also Curie Family; Lamarck; Laplace; Lavoisier.)

Medical research in France has kept pace with the other sciences. Such well-known figures as Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard highlight the history of French medicine, and many 20th-century French researchers have been honored by Nobel prizes in physiology or medicine. (See also Bernard; Pasteur.)