Antoine-François Fourcroy

Fourcroy, Antoine-François


Born June 15, 1755, in Paris; died Dec. 16, 1809, in Paris. French chemist and political figure. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1785).

Fourcroy worked with A. Lavoisier and others in developing a new system of chemical nomenclature. He was an opponent of the phlogiston theory in chemistry.

During the French Revolution, Fourcroy was a member of the Convention, and he served on the Committee on Public Instruction. He was a Jacobin and then a Thermidorian. Fourcroy helped organize the Institut National des Sciences et des Arts and a number of lycées and colleges. In 1801 he became director-general of public instruction; he organized more than 300 secondary schools. Fourcroy was a foreign honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1802).


Système des connaissances chimiques, et de leurs applications aux phénoménes de la nature et de l’art, vols. 1–10. Paris [1800–02].
Khimicheskaia filosofiia ili osnovatel’nye istiny noveishei khimii, po novomu obraztsy raspolozhennye. Moscow, 1812. (Translated from French.)


Smeaton, W. A. Fourcroy: Chemist and Revolutionary. 1755–1809. Cambridge [1962]. (Contains bibliography.)