Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (Geneva; 24 April 1817–15 April 1894) studied in Paris (1837–9) and after a year of travel in Northern Europe entered Liebig’s laboratory in Giessen, where he carried out his only research on organic chemistry, on naphthalene and phthalic acid.1 He was offered a post in the SÈvres porcelain factory (1841) but soon returned to Geneva, becoming professor of chemistry (1842) and mineralogy (1845) in the Geneva Academy, retiring in 1878. He then worked in a private laboratory until about 1884, when increasing ill-health forced him to abandon all work. It was not until 1873, when the Academy became the University, that he had a good laboratory; for 30 years previously he worked alone in a damp cellar. His retiring disposition impaired his usefulness as a teacher. He received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1886.2
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