Jean Rostand

Jean Rostand
Denis Buican.jpeg
Born(1894-10-30)30 October 1894
Died4 September 1977(1977-09-04) (aged 82)
Known forMember of the Académie française
Parent(s)Edmond Rostand
Rosemonde Gérard
RelativesMaurice Rostand (brother)

Jean Edmond Cyrus Rostand (30 October 1894, Paris – 4 September 1977, Ville-d'Avray) was a French biologist and philosopher.

Active as an experimental biologist, Rostand became famous for his work as a science writer, as well as a philosopher and an activist. His scientific work covered a variety of biological fields such as amphibian embryology, parthenogenesis and teratogeny, while his literary output extended into popular science, history of science and philosophy. His work in the area of cryogenics gave the idea of cryonics to Robert Ettinger.[1]

Rostand Island in Antarctica is named after him.


Rostand was born to playwright Edmond Rostand[2] and poet Rosemonde Gérard. He was the brother of novelist and playwright Maurice Rostand.[citation needed]

Following in the footsteps of his father, Rostand was elected to the Académie française in 1959.[2]

Rostand was active in several causes, in particular against nuclear proliferation and the death penalty. An agnostic, he demonstrated humanist convictions. He wrote several books on the question of eugenism and the responsibilities of mankind regarding its own fate and its place in nature.[citation needed]

He is famous for the following quotation: "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a God." From Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938.



  1. ^ Regis, Ed (1991). Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge. Westview Press. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-201-56751-2.
  2. ^ a b "Jean ROSTAND". Académie française. Retrieved 23 October 2013.

Further reading[]

External links[]