“I have been told that I find what I am not looking for…”
….so said my friend Claude, or at least words to that effect (just one of his many wise quotations to be found on my bilingual website http://www.claude-bernard.co.uk
This man was perhaps the greatest 19th century medical scientist. He always wanted to be a writer. He even had his play produced in Lyon while training as a pharmacist. He wrote another, but was rudely put in his place by a well-meaning Paris drama critic – who steered him firmly towards medical studies and the world of science. Forty years later, among his beloved vines in the Beaujolais he eventually published his best-seller!
I met the scientific giant, Claude Bernard already in medical school. I learned a lot about his science, but nothing at all about his troubled life. His ideas and discoveries guided me throughout my career, and so it was not surprising that I returned to him in my retirement to find out more – and particularly about the man himself.
He believed in intuition and keen observation as starting points for his experiments and discoveries. Be alert – he said – and when you see an opportunity, grab it. Above all, he had a single-minded determination to find the answer to a question that really mattered – and then the proof and the counterproof that his answer was indeed correct. Sadly, he encountered many obstacles in his path to success – of which the personal elements were every bit as challenging and daunting as the professional ones. When I eventually discovered the richness of his experiences in the fascinating turmoil of 19th century France, I decided to write his story – as a novel. It is as simple as that !
A MATTER OF DOUBT is now available at Amazon as an e-book for the price of a BIG MAC !!
Click http://tinyurl.com/matterofdoubt-uk (in UK)
http://tinyurl.com/matterofdoubt (in USA, Europe and beyond)
If you would rather meet Bernard in the French language, his tale will be available at the end of this year, courtesy of its publisher, the Société des Ecrivains. ‘Un Défi sans fin’ will be available in two formats: as a ‘proper’ book, the cover of which bears images of his most and also his least successful publication – and then again as an e-book.
I WANT YOU TO READ MY BOOK….to understand the breadth of his discoveries and his way of thinking (he refused to call himself a philosopher although others like to think of him as such). His story makes us think too – of the sacrifices needed to find truth, and whether the end always justifies the means and then again what price success? And how friendship interferes with honesty and frankness in human and scientific relationships – and so much more. Later, I want to explore these themes because 2013 will be the bicentenary of his birth, and there will certainly be many events, presentations and conferences exploring his life and work.
Feel free to join me on www.twitter.com as wisepeter1, on www.facebook.com as wisepeter, email me on email@example.com or simply add comment to this blog. If you wish to dig deeper into Bernard’s life and work, you may be interested in a detailed biography, quotations, articles, images and a bibliography on my bilingual (French/English) academic website www.claude-bernard.co.uk
See you again soon.