Louis Jacques Thénard en
Louis Jacques Thénard, was a French chemist. His father, a poor peasant, managed to have him educated at the academy of Sens, and sent him at the age of sixteen to study pharmacy in Paris. There he attended the lectures of Antoine François Fourcroy and Louis Nicolas Vauquelin. He was allowed into Vauquelin's laboratory even though he was unable to pay the monthly fee of 20 francs, due to the requests of Vauquelin's sisters.. and succeeded in gaining admission, in a humble capacity, to the latter's laboratory. But his progress was so rapid that in two or three years he was able to take his master's place at the lecture-table, and Fourcroy and Vauquelin were so satisfied with his performance that they procured for him a school appointment in 1797 as teacher of chemistry, and in 1798 one as répétiteur at the École Polytechnique. In 1804 Vauquelin resigned his professorship at the Collège de France and successfully used his influence to obtain the appointment for Thénard, who six years later, after Fourcroy's death, was further elected to the chairs of chemistry at the École Polytechnique and the Faculté des Sciences. He also succeeded Fourcroy as member of the Academy. In 1821, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1825 he received the title of baron from Charles X, and in 1832 Louis Philippe made him a peer of France. From 1827 to 1830 he represented the département of Yonne in the chamber of deputies, and as vice-president of the conseil superieur de l'instruction publique, he exercised a great influence on scientific education in France. He died in Paris on 21 June 1857. A statue was erected to his memory at Sens in 1861, and in 1865 the name of his native village was changed to La Louptière-Thénard. Wikipedia [ - ]
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- Prominent analytical chemist and university official in early 19th-century France
- jons jakob berzelius anticipated by louis jacques thenard
- bernard courtois a pal of louis jacques thenard
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- antoine francois de fourcroy lectures attended by louis jacques thenard
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- Thenard was born to peasants living in a farming region east of Paris.
- Demonstrating his academic ability early, Thenard was sent to secondary school in Sens.
- At the age of seventeen he left for Paris with the intention of studying pharmacy but was soon swayed by the popular public lectures in chemistry by Fourcroy and his assistant Vaquelin at the newly formed Ecole Polytechnique.
- In 1798 Thenard was named demonstrator at the Ecole Polytechnique and later full professor.
- In 1804 he succeeded Vauquelin at the College de France and in 1809 was named professor of chemistry at the new Paris Faculty of Sciences.
- Multiple academic positions were commonplace in post-revolutionary France, and Thenard was no exception.
- (Thenard was appointed dean of the Paris Faculty in 1822)
- In addition he was a member of numerous learned societies (at one of which he saw Stensen demonstrate his brain work, notably the Academy of Sciences, and was named a baron in 1825. Later in his career Thenard was also involved in educational planning at the national level, first as a member of the Royal Council of Public Instruction (beginning in 1830) and then as chancellor of the University of France (1845-1852).
- As a measure of how chemistry changed during Thenard's career, by the 1830's the new table of thirty-three elements had grown to fifty-four, and a decade after Thenard's death it stood at seventy.
- Thenard belonged to the first generation of French chemists who fully embraced the new chemical philosophy of Lavoisier and flourished as professional scientists in the relatively stable, reconstructed institutions of post-revolutionary France.