Casimir Cépède (1882-1954)
French zoologist, biologist and radio lecturer, born on March 4, 1882 in Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes). His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a mattress maker. Primary and secondary education, in Cannes, Nice and Grenoble.
1898 Suffered from diphtheria that was cured by serotherapy, which had been made a general practice in France by E. Roux.
1898-1901 Entered the school for teaching Ecole normale d'instituteurs , in Nice.
1901 Appointed as a teacher in Nice for several days, then enrolled in medical training in Grenoble.
1902-1903 Contracted tuberculosis ; obtained his Pre-medical PCN certificate (physics, chemistry and biology), then baccalaureate in sciences ; published a first work on alpine snakes.
1902-1904 Appointed as a research assistant at the laboratory of botanic, geology and zoology, at the University of sciences in Grenoble ; attended teaching of R. Perrier and L. Léger.
1902-1905 In charge of the service for fish breeding at the University of sciences in Grenoble.
1903 Joined the SFIO (Section Française de l'Internationale Ouvrière ) and became a member until 1914.
1904 Appointed as a deputy secretary at the conference committee organized by the French association for scientific advancement in zoology (AFAS), in Grenoble.
1905-1911 Appointed as a naturalist specialized in sea fishing.
1906 Married to Léonie Paccard, who worked as a teacher in sciences at the school for young girls in Roubaix (Nord), with whom he had three children : Michel (1908), Anne-Marie (1911), Paul (1924).
1907 Appointed for his life as a secretary at the conference committee organized by the AFAS, in Reims.
1908-1912 Research assistant at the zoological station in Wimereux, under A. Giard ; was involved in the regional social life ; taught as a supply teacher at the school for young girls in Boulogne-sur-mer ; became a treasurer for School Allowance in Wimereux, contributed to the establishment of the school meals system in the city.
1910 Thesis defense for Doctorate in Sciences ; dissertation topic entitled : Studies on astomatous ciliate infusorians (Euciliates which have no ingestion apparatus).
1912 Because of a disagreement with M. Caullery, left the Wimereux laboratory for the zoological laboratory under Y. Delage, at the Sorbonne in Paris, as a Commercy's grant-holder ; studied the plankton collection brought back from Antarctica by the J. Charcot's mission.
1914-1918 During WW1, on the recommendation of R. Blanchard, served as a volunteer at the service for typhoid fever, in the military hospital of Val-de-Grâce, under H. Vincent ; met there E. Brumpt and F. Le Dantec, with whom he made friends ; organized the ambulance driving done by unpaid women ; taught at the French school for ambulance women ; at the request of the ministry of war, designed educational insect models as tools for teaching medical and scientific teams how to fight malaria ; was made a Chevalier of Nichan-el-Anouar (disinfection of troops).
1916-1924 Appointed as an assistant professor in zoology, at the Faculty of sciences in Paris ; on behalf of his daughter Marcelle Nicolle, who had been one of Cépède's students, Ch. Nicolle complimented him about his excellent teaching.
1917 Conducted research on tuberculosis, in Dr. Fournier's laboratory at hospital Cochin ; developped a toxin-free curative anti-tuberculosis vaccine, called curovaccin atoxique .
1917 Together with R. Perrier, designed a series of posters for university lecturing in zoology and comparative anatomy.
1918 Looking to the flu pandemic (also known as Spanish Flu") for ways to fight it, designed vaccines for curative use against the infection ; created at his own charge a laboratory for preparing vaccines, which could be provided for free at request.
1918-1919 Developed training in clinical microbiology and parasitology at the Technical Graduate School Scientia, Paris.
1919 With the support of Dean of the Faculty of sciences P. Appell, foundated the Institute for Applied Biology, aiming at studying human and pet microbial diseases, as well as biological problems arising from the control of diseases in the industrial, agricultural, arts and crafts environments ; was authorized to produce about thirty curative, non-toxic vaccines, sold in France and abroad ; in addition, conducted studies in hematology as well as research on medicinal plants : headed the Institute, located at Reille avenue, until his death in 1954.
1919-1950 Public radio stations, such as Paris PTT, broadcasted Cépède's seminars in public hygiene.
1923 Obtained the Golden Medal upon the international Festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Louis Pasteur.
1925 Was awarded Chevalier of the Legion of Honour ; the Institute for Applied Biology moved from Reille avenue to Mathurin Reigner street, in Paris.
1926 Became an administrator of the Philomatique Society of Paris ; in 1934, as a vice-president elect, created the review Le Philomathe and became redactor in chief.
1931 Co-founded the French Society for Microscopy and became a member of the board of directors.
1935 Was initiated into Freemasonry in the Lodge Loyauté ; from the degree of Companion (1936), passed to the degree of Master (1937).
1938 Elected as an honorary member of the first aid association, Le Premier secours , at which he regularly gave lectures ; became president in 1939.
06/1940-12/1943 During Second World War, exodus to Houga (Gers, France) ; together with Julien Péridier, co-founded there the Rural Industry company, with the goal of manufacturing substitutes.
1945 Elected as an administrator for School Allowance in Paris ; created the chair colonial hygiene for giving seminars through radio broadcasting from stations operating in France's overseas.
1945-1954 Frequently visited the Pasteur Institute's library.
1946 Became a member of the high committee for research in agronomy, together with M. Javillier, M. Lemoigne, M. Macheboeuf, E. Roubaud.
1947 Elected as a vice-president of the Human Rights League at the 15th district in Paris ; had joined the league on 1904.
1948 Appointed as an archivist at the Society for cremation, where he made friend with vice-president C. Mathis.
1949-1953 In charge of the course in biology and bacteriology at the Institute d'Arsonval, in Paris.
1950 His son, sub-lieutenant Paul Cépède died during French War in Vietnam ; rejoined the SFIO.
1953 Was awarded the Silver Gilt medal from the French Society to encourage and educate art, sciences and humanities ; its honorary officers included : L. Pasteur Vallery-Radot, E. Pozerski, G. Ramon.
23/12/1954 Died at home in Paris.
Collaborators : A. Acloque, A. Giard, R. Perrier, F. Picard, Poyarkoff, V. Willem.
Biographical reference tools :
- Cépède (Casimir), Reports about scientific work of Casimir Cépède - 1901-1942, Toulouse, Imp. Moderne, 39 p., 1942.
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