Broca, Paul, physician and anatomist (1824-1880). Autograph letter signed.

Paris, 20. IV. 1872.

8vo. 4 pp. on bifolium.


To a colleague, concerning the establishment of the "Association française pour l'avancement des sciences" and its future statutes and organisation. The Association is intended later to be consolidated with the "Association scientifique de France", then under the presidency of the astronomer Urbain Le Verrier, who - as Broca notes - is willing to resign from this position to enable the merger. Three representatives of both associations have already met to discuss the principal issues: the chemist Charles A. Wurtz, the physicist Alfred Cornu, and Broca himself. Broca further informs his correspondent about their quest for a suitable location for the new association's first conference, and for the necessary support by the local scientists: Lyon, Lille, and Bordeaux all seem possibles. Broca, the self-declared Gironist, proposes to sound out the situation in Bordeaux: "M. Leverrier avait dit que si la ree[li]gibilité des présidents faisait obstacle à la fusion, il était prêt à donner sa démission [...] Je suis toujours Girondin, et ce serait un titre honorable pour la cité Bordelaise, qui aspire fortement à devenir la capitale scientifique du sud ouest, d'avoir été le siege de la première session de l'association française [...]".

The "Association française pour l'avancement des sciences" (AFAS) was founded later that same year. It was recognized as being of public benefit a few years later and finally fused with the "Association scientifique de France" in 1884.

Paul Broca is best known for his research on "Broca's area", a region of the frontal lobe that is named after him. His work revealed that the brains of patients suffering from aphasia contained lesions in a particular part of the cortex, in the left frontal region. This was the first anatomical proof of localization of brain function. Broca's work also contributed to the development of physical anthropology, advancing the science of anthropometry.

Very slightly brownstained. With the writer's raised monogram "PB".

Art.-Nr.: BN#54216 Schlagwörter: ,