Joint Function with Alliance Française
Presentation (in English) by
William Rostène, co-author of L'héritage de Paul

Date : Thursday, 19 July 2007
Venue : Alliance Française de Melbourne
51 Grey Street, St Kilda VIC 3182


Outline of Presentation

  • Introduction by Carolyn Rasmussen and Dominique de Gasquet
  • Presentation of the book by William Rostène
  • Question-and-answer session
  • Refreshments (cheese and wine)
  • About the Book

    Paris 1861. In Claude Bernardís laboratory at the College de France in Paris, Charles Dormont and his friend Paul Bert conduct fascinating experiments.  They take an active part in important developments in biomedical research as well as in the major historical events of the time; the war of 1870, the free town, the creation of the French IIIrd Republic and they meet Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur, Victor Hugo and Leon Gambetta.  Charles Dormont disappears when the Loch Ard is wrecked on the south coast of Australia during a scientific expedition.  Years later, his son Serge, an MD, works on the causes of Parkinsonís disease.  Following his fatherís footsteps, he goes to Australia to help set up the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.  During a pilgrimage with his young Irish girlfriend Allison, he discovers a village whose inhabitants suffer from a mysterious disease since the Loch Ardís wreck Ö  This historical novel takes us to the heart of the buoyant scientific, political and social atmosphere of the second half of the 19th century.

    Paul Bert initiated the laws relating to social equality and secular education.  He also revolutionised surgical procedures and opened up the way to diving and aeronautics.  This historical fiction pays homage to his outstanding talent.


    About the Authors

    William Rostène is a research director at INSERM, specialising in Neurosciences, and also teaches at Paris University (Paris VI).  He has published a large number of articles and reviews in international journals such as Nature, PNAS and the Journal of Neuroscience.  Julien Freu is a young writer.  His first book, Delta was published in 2004 (Editions F. Truffault).