21 April, 2009
Jean Rostand 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.
He was the son of 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 prestigious Académie française in 1959.
Rostand was a dynamic activist in several causes, in particular against nuclear proliferation and the death penalty. An agnostic, he demonstrated deep 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.