The perfect place to find out about Louis Pasteur
TEXT: JAMES RAMPTON | PHOTOS © LA MAISON LOUIS PASTEUR
Every scientist probably dreams of changing the world, but very few actually get to achieve that dream. Louis Pasteur – the French scientist who discovered pasteurisation amongst many other things, was someone who did just that, and at the museum which was once his home – the Maison Louis Pasteur in the Jura region of France – there are some fascinating insights into his work.
In Arbois, less than an hour’s drive from the Swiss border to the east and Dijon to the west, La Maison Louis Pasteur is a chance to immerse yourself in Pasteur’s world, celebrated for his groundbreaking work in the causes and prevention of diseases.
The house, which was the only home Pasteur ever owned, has been preserved just as it was in Pasteur’s time with nothing changed since he lived there in the 19th century. Visitors can see the perfectly preserved laboratory where Pasteur made such world-changing breakthroughs as the discovery of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurisation, and get a real sense of his questing spirit.
The home where Pasteur was born in nearby Dole is also open to visitors. An exhibition highlights each of his specialist fields of knowledge, including the rabies vaccine, crystals, silkworm diseases and fermentation in wine and beer, and visitors can also take part in two-hour workshops at L’Atelier Pasteur and try out experiments which demonstrate his ideas.
“Pasteur brought about a scientific revolution and changed the course of history,” explains Sylvie Morel, the director of La Maison Louis Pasteur. His work still has a great influence on science today and here at the museum you can see the places where he lived and worked. It’s a wonderful, educational experience.”