Louis Jean-Marie Daubenton

1716 (Montbard, France) – 1800 (Paris)

Though less renowned than Buffon (a childhood friend and professional colleague, who got him in because of his own distaste for anatomy and dissection), Daubenton was a significant naturalist and a pioneer of comparative anatomy. He contributed to Diderot’s encyclopaedia, wrote a preface for Lamarck, taught and inspired Haüy, and knew Banks. He recommended Geoffroy — who had attended his lectures and was also supported by another of Daubenton’s protégés, Vicq d’Azyr — to an important first job. After a decade working together, Buffon excised his contribution to the ‘Histoire Naturelle’ (to its detriment), though they later made up.