Louis Pasteur: Pure Science Serving Industry

By Guillaume Carnino

Louis Pasteur’s career shows the tight, intrinsic, and essential link between scientific and industrial interests. Through a study of his manuscript correspondence (not the published correspondence, deliberately truncated by his heirs), we show that the aims of science overlapped industrial objectives. Moreover, every time science was claimed as pure, it promoted a social transaction between economic and political services exchanged for social and financial rewards – the whole process laying the foundation for Pasteur to claim autonomy. The article ends with an analysis of the construction of the Pasteur mythology.

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