Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 4 (1923) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Sorbonne. 
Professor Lapicque. 
A visit was made to the laboratory of Professor Lapicque, who is 
the successor of Professor Dastre at the Sorbonne. Professor Lapicque 
is one of the most stimulating men that I met. Ho has all the Frenchman’s 
brilliance and facility of speech, with many ideas. He is just at present 
occupied in developing the use of sea weed as a food for chickens. The 
sea weed had been thoroughly washed to free it from salt. In talking 
with him, I found he was quite sceptical with regard to the term "basal 
metabolism". He claims that with ruminants such a thing does not exist, 
as ruminants are always in the process of digestion. He has prepared a 
curve showing the normal metabolism or food demands of animals of various 
sizes and shapes when in full digestion. I was much interested to find 
that he is working upon bran. Everybody in France seems to be working 
on feeding experiments with bran. In discussing the question of specific 
dynamic act ion,he claimed that the expression i3 exac tly what Rubner meant. 
Just what he did mean I could not find out. 
Madame Lapicque assists him very much in the laboratory. We had the 
pleasure of meeting her and Professor Lapicque again at their house, along 
with Professor Sherrington. There was much discussion with regard to the 
fact that the (lermans had been invited to the Congress in ’Edinburgh, an 
invitation which the French and Belgians resented very much indeed. The 
injustice shown in these international arguments can best be brought out 
by the following illustration. It was argued that Professor Schafer was 
a derman, bora in dormany, and sympathized with the dermans, and hence 
had extended an invitation to the dermans. As a matter of fact, he was 
not a derman, was born in London, during the war did not sympathize with 
the dermans, and lost two sons in the war.


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