The 19th Century French physiologist Claude Bernard, hailed as one of history’s prominent scientists, contributed to numerous fields of research, including originating the concept of homeostasis and the notion of ‘blinding’ experiments. He was also an avid vivisectionist whose discoveries would help advance knowledge of the digestive system, the workings of the pancreas and liver, as well as blood supply regulation. However, Bernard’s commitment to using animals in his experiments would begin to raise a level of controversy among the people of France. It would ultimately cost him his marriage and would bring the vivisection debate into public focus. Bernard’s fame transported the discussion of vivisection’s place in science beyond that of the scientific community for the first time setting the stage for the subsequent passing of legislation and the formation of organisations.
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