Who said: "Chance favors only the prepared mind"

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance favors only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Louis PasteurChemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) was born in France. Three of his five children died of typhoid fever, which likely contributed to his driving desire to save people from disease. He graduated in 1842 from Besancon College Royal de la Franche with honors in physics, mathematics, Latin, and drawing. Later, he attended Ecole Normale in Paris to study physics and chemistry. After which he held academic posts at Strasbourg, Lille and Paris, becoming professor of chemistry at the Sorbonne in 1867.

In his early research he worked with French wine growers to develop a way to kill harmful organisms that adversely effected the fermentation process. The first "pasteurization" test was completed in 1862 and proved a successful technique for extending the life of both wine and milk.

In a famous experiment in 1881 Pasteur showed that sheep and cows vaccinated* with the attenuated bacilli of anthrax received protection against the disease; and in 1885 he saved the life of a nine-year-old boy who had been attacked by a rabid dog using a series of experimental rabies vaccinations.

During his lifetime Pasteur fought to convince surgeons that germs existed and carried diseases but it was not always easy to convince others of his controversial claim. The Pasteur Institute was opened in 1888, where he worked until his death in 1895.

Other quotes from Pasteur:
"Any new system is worth trying when your luck is bad."
"Fortune has rarely condescended to be the companion of genius."
"When you work seven days a week, fourteen hours a day, you get lucky."


*Most of us know the story of how English country doctor, Edward Jenner, discovered that cowpox gave immunity to smallpox in the mid-18th century. However, apparently the history of vaccination goes back much further in time. The ancient Chinese developed a snuff made of powdered smallpox scabs which usually brought on a mild infection, protecting the individual from a more serious case later. In the 1600s European peasants immunized themselves via an injection under the skin, and in the early 18th century King George I allowed vaccination trials on the inmates of Newgate Prison. Some died, but enough lived and gained immunity for variolation to become accepted medical practice.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...
  • Book Jacket: Strangers in Their Own Land
    Strangers in Their Own Land
    by Arlie Russell Hochschild
    Arlie Russell Hochschild's dive into the heart of Tea Party America is as good a glimpse of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    After receiving a letter from his childhood friend's father, Aaron Falk, a Melbourne police officer ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Home Sweet Home
    by April Smith

    From the widely praised author of the FBI Special Agent Ana Grey series, a stunning novel set in the McCarthy era.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are either well written or badly written. That is all.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.