Rapkine, Louis

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RAPKINE, LOUIS (1904–1948), biochemist. Rapkine was born in Russia, taken to Canada in 1911, and settled in France in 1924. As early as 1932 he became involved with the plight of European victims of racial and political discrimination and in 1934 set up in France the "Comité d'accueil des savants étrangers" to find work for academic refugees. During the war he went to the United States, where he worked tirelessly and managed to rescue a group of men of science and their families. When American legislation made it difficult for this group of foreign scientists to work for the allied war effort, Rapkine arranged for them to be transferred to the United Kingdom, where he became head of a French Scientific Mission. In 1946 he followed his group back to France to continue his research in a department of cellular chemistry created for him at the Pasteur Institute. He also devoted much of his energy to getting French science back on its feet.


Crowther, in: Nature, 163 (1949), 162–3, 458–9.