Pasteur and “motivated” research

Comptes Rendus Biologies 345 (3):109-119. Translated by Antoine Danchin (2022)
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Pasteur’s originality in the way he developed pure research is to have understood the importance, for society, of the underlying motivation. Curiosity, of course, is a strong motivation, which explains why we seek to understand the origin of life. But, in front of the immensity of the possible choices, why not, also, choose to start from questions of economic interest (diseases of beer and wine, diseases aVecting the silk industry . . . ) Finally, of course, health is a constant preoccupation, but the diseases, which have no borders, often come from tropical countries and Asia especially. It is therefore necessary to settle there, but not to come and impose one’s point of view, but on the contrary to use the knowledge coming from the local culture in order to open new ways of understanding the reality of the world.



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Antoine Danchin
University of Hong Kong

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