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Charles Adolphe Wurtz, doyen de l'École de médecine de Paris (1866-1875)

Abstract : The chemist Charles Adolphe Wurtz (1817-1884) is well-known as a major figure in organic chemistry, as the leader of an important research school in Paris, and as a staunch advocate of atomic notation. This thesis presents a more obscure face of his career: Wurtz dean of the Paris School of medicine from 1866 to 1875, was confronted with heavy administrative duties in a period of doctrinal debates about medical courses and of political troubles at the turn of the Second Empire and the Third Republic. The aim of this study intentionally focused on a narrow field and a short period is to open a window on the history of the Paris School of medicine as well as to describe the social and political engagement of a scientist in 19th-century France. Wurtz's attitude in front of the various circumstances and events that occurred during this period is analyzed. A controversy on medical doctrines between the clergy and professors suspected of materialism opened the period of his deanship. Then student protests which occurred help clarify Wurtz's educational views. Later on, a law on the freedom of higher education prompted hot debates and Wurtz adopted an ambiguous position. By contrast he was very determined on the issue of women's admission to the doctorate of medicine. Finally we characterize Wurtz's style of management in his daily efforts to improve the material conditions of medical teaching, as well as in the turmoil of Paris Siege and the Commune. In focusing on this episode of Wurtz's career, this work aims at understanding how the ethos of the Alsatian chemist, atomist theorist, and Protestant interacted with the ethos of the manager of a large medical faculty.
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Contributor : Natalie Pigeard-Micault Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 5:13:29 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 3:06:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:10:17 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00910297, version 1


Natalie Pigeard-Micault. Charles Adolphe Wurtz, doyen de l'École de médecine de Paris (1866-1875). Histoire, Philosophie et Sociologie des sciences. Université de Nanterre - Paris X, 2007. Français. ⟨NNT : ED 139⟩. ⟨tel-00910297⟩



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