Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/129

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then deputy to M. Flourens at the Museum, and had the degree of Doctor of Science conferred upon him. In 1868 he was appointed Professor of Physiology in the Faculty of Science, in succession to M. Claude Bernard. M. Paul Bert achieved a high reputation in the scientific world by his interesting physiological researches, and especially by his bold experiments for ascertaining the conditions of human existence at different altitudes. An enthusiastic member of the Aeronautical Society of France, M. Bert furnished his colleagues with the means of reaching very great heights from the surface of the earth, but unfortunately the aerial voyages which were undertaken, although sometimes attended by successful results, sometimes terminated fatally, as in the case of the catastrophe of the balloon "Zenith" when the two brave aeronauts who ascended in it, Sivel and Croce Spinelli, lost their lives (April 15, 1875). In the month of August following, the Institute awarded to M. Bert its biennial prize of 10,000 francs. After the events of Sept. 4, 1870, M. Bert was appointed general secretary of the prefecture of the Yonne, and on Jan. 15, 1871, Prefect of the department du Nord. On June 9, 1872, he was elected to the National Assembly by the department of the Yonne in the place of M. Javal, and took his seat among the members of the Extreme Left party. He addressed the Assembly several times on questions relating to education, particularly medical education. He was re-elected Deputy for the Yonne in the second circonscription of the arrondissement of Auxerre, Feb. 20, 1876. In the new Assembly he signalised himself by his extreme Radical opinions, and after the act of May 16, 1877, he was one of the 363 deputies who refused a vote of confidence to the Cabinet of the Duke de Broglie. At the general election in the following October he was re-elected in the same circonscription which he had previously represented. He has since advocated with great earnestness various educational schemes, and endeavoured to exclude the clergy and members of the religious orders from the schools. In 1878 he was elected President of the Biological Society. From 1877 to 1879 he represented the canton of Aillant in the General Council of the Yonne. In the short-lived Gambetta Cabinet, formed on Nov. 14, 1881, M. Paul Bert was Minister of Public Instruction. In April, 1882, he was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences by 30 votes to 26. Besides numerous scientific contributions to the République Française, he has published "Revue des Travaux d'Anatomie et de Physiologie publiés en France pendant l'année 1864" (8vo. 1866); "Notes d'Anatomie et de Physiologie comparées," 2nd series, 1867–70; "Recherches sur le Mouvement de la Sensitive" (1867–70); "Leçons sur la Physiologie comparée de la Respiration," 1869; "Recherches experimentales sur l'influence que les modifications exercent sur les phénomènes de la vie," 1874; "La Pression Barométrique: Recherches de Physiologie expérimentales," 1877; a biographical sketch of Dr. C. Bernard, prefixed to his work "La Science Expérimentale," 1878; "La Morale des Jésuites," 6th edit. 1880; "Leçons, discours, et conferences," 1880; "Leçons de Zoologie professées à la Sorbonne," 1881; "La première année d'enseignement scientifique: Sciences naturelles et physiques," 1882; "L'Instruction civique à l'École (Notions fundamentales. Causeries du Maitre avec ses Éleves"), 3rd edit. 1882; and "Discours parlementaires, 1872–1881," published in 1882.

BESANT, Walter, was born at Portsmouth, in 1838, and educated at King's College, London, and Christ's College, Cambridge, where