Jean Senebier


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Senebier, Jean

 

Born May 6, 1742, in Geneva; died there July 22, 1809. Swiss naturalist. Senebier’s principal works dealt with plant physiology, particularly photosynthesis. He showed experimentally that the source of carbon in green plants is carbon dioxide, which is absorbed by the plants in sunlight. Senebier, who proposed the term “plant physiology” in 1791, wrote the first textbook on the discipline (Physiologique végétale, vols. 1–5, 1800). He laid the experimental foundations of photochemistry. He also wrote a number of works on meteorology, physics, and chemistry.

REFERENCE

Timiriazev, K. A. “Zhan Seneb‘e, osnovatel’ fiziologii rastenii.” Sochineniia, vol. 8. Moscow, 1939.
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While a fair amount of space is given to analysing seventeenth-century correspondence, an anonymous pamphlet of 1789, and an essay by the comparatively obscure Swiss naturalist Jean Senebier, some writers normally seen as major figures of the Enlightenment are neglected.