Jean Rostand

Biography of Jean Rostand

Jean Rostand (October 30, 1894, Paris – September 4, 1977, Ville-d’Avray) was a French biologist and philosopher.

Active as an experimental biologist, Rostand became famous for his work as a science writer, as well as a philosopher and an activist. His scientific work covered a variety of biological fields such as amphibian embryology, parthenogenesis and teratogeny, while his literary output extended into popular science, history of science and philosophy. His work in the area of cryogenics gave the idea of cryonics to Robert Ettinger.

Rostand was born to playwright Edmond Rostand and poetess Rosemonde Gérard as well as the brother of novelist and playwright Maurice Rostand.

Following the footsteps of his father, Rostand was elected to the Académie française in 1959.

Rostand was active in several causes, in particular against nuclear proliferation and the death penalty. An agnostic, he demonstrated humanist convictions. He wrote several books on the question of eugenism and the responsibilities of mankind regarding its own fate and its place in nature.

He married Andrée Mante in 1920. His son François was born the following year.

Famous for the following quotation: "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." From Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938.

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