Pinel was a pioneer of the humane treatment of psychiatric patients, and of the observational study of their condition. Pussin was an influential colleague — it was he, and not Pinel, as often claimed, who first ordered patients to be unchained, and who initiated patient-centred approaches to treatment. Chaptal (they met in Montpellier) acknowledged Pinel’s influence on his ideas. Franklin met him in Paris (almost leading him to emigrate to America), Fourcroy recommended him for a professorship, while Esquival, a disciple, eventually succeeded him. Georget was his other great student and collaborator, and Condorcet a friend.