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Jean André Peyssonnel and the coral island

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In the 1720s, Jean André Peyssonnel, a physician and naturalist from Marseille, conducted a series of experiments on corals that demonstrated for the first time that they were neither vegetable nor mineral but belonged instead in the animal kingdom. In great excitement, Peyssonnel sent his findings to the Académie des Sciences in Paris where they were first mocked, and then ignored, before being accepted several decades later. This talk examines not only Peyssonnel’s observational and experimental results, but also the conditions necessary for once-rejected scientific results to become generally accepted as true.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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