This German Naturalist, born in Griessen
in 1817, was obliged to leave his country several times, and always for
political reasons. Accordingly, he
obtained his doctorate in medicine in Bern (1839).
Following his return to Griessen in 1847 to take up the chair of zoology,
he held a seat in the national parliament in 1848, which led to him being
destitute two years later due to his adopting socialist ideas.
A refugee in Geneva, he was called to the chair of geology and zoology at
the Academy, worked for the creation of a faculty of medicine and was the first
rector of the new University of Geneva.
Naturalised Genevois in 1861, he was eligible to be elected to the Great Council, then to
the State Council and to the National Council. From a strictly scientific point of view, he upheld the materialists’
ideas and defended the evolutionary theory of Darwin.