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March 16, 1970

Paul Bert (1833-1886) Aviation Physiologist

JAMA. 1970;211(11):1849-1850. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170110055015

Paul Bert, pupil of Claude Bernard and a political activist, was born at Auxerre, France, and received his early education in the Department of Yonne.1 He first became interested in engineering, then the study of law, and passed his examinations; but before entering the bar, Bert turned his attention to anatomy and physiology. He obtained the doctorate of medicine in 1863 from the Faculty of Medicine of Paris. His thesis on animal grafting attracted the attention of Bernard, a senior examiner at the time and in whose laboratory he became an assistant. In 1866, Bert was admitted as a doctor of natural science and for several years taught zoology in Bordeaux; he was named professor of physiology, in 1869, as Bernard's successor in the Faculty of Sciences. During the terminal years of the Second Empire, Bert demonstrated his uncompromising republicanism and began to share his energies with political affairs;