Jean Baptiste Boussingault

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Boussingault, Jean Baptiste

 

Born Feb. 2, 1802, in Paris; died there May 11, 1887. French chemist; author of classic research on plant nutrition; one of the founders of scientific agrochemistry. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1839).

Boussingault graduated from the Higher Mining School in St. Etienne. He was a professor at two agrochemical institutes, first at Lyon and later at Versailles. In 1839 he became a professor at the Conservatory of Arts and Trades (Paris). He engaged in research and practical work in his laboratory in Pechelbronn (Alsace). Boussingault elaborated a series of studies on physiology and agricultural chemistry, the root nourishment of plants, problems of fertilizers, the rotation of substances in nature, the nitrogen cycle, and the dynamics of nitrogen in the soil. In particular, he established that all plants other than legumes, which themselves enrich the soil with nitrogen, take nitrogen from the soil. He was the founder of the vegetative method in the field of plant physiology and agronomy. He is the author of numerous articles and two fundamental studies, Field Agriculture in the Light of Chemistry, Physics, and Meteorology (vols. 1-2, 1851) and Agronomy and Agricultural Chemistry and Physiology (vols. 1-7, 1860-84).

WORKS

Essai de statique chimique des êtres organisés, vols. 1-2. Paris, 1843-44.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye proizvedeniia po fiziologii rastenii i agrokhimii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1957.

REFERENCE

Timiriazev, K. A. Zhan Batist Bussengo: Sobr. soch., vol. 2. Moscow, 1948.

A. I. OPARIN

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We all owe an enormous debt to Steven Hales, Jean Senebier, Theodore de Saussure, Jean-Baptiste Boussingault, and dozens of other scientists who helped discover the mineral nutrient requirements of plants (Epstein, 1972).
1) Universite de Strasbourg, IMFS, 2 rue Boussingault, 67000 Strasbourg, France
By the late 1830s and the 1840s, the reiteration of climatic environmentalism by Humboldt and Boussingault was being acted upon by environmentally minded scientists and officials working not just on the islands but on the large land masses of India, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Australia, where the demands of European colonial empires were now bringing about deforestation at an unprecedented speed.
Two years later, Dumas, (in collaboration with Boussingault and Anselme Payen) announced the results of researches on the fattening of cattle and the formation of milk [3].