With the death of Andre Lwoff, one of the greatest French representatives of science has disappeared. He began his career in 1921, at the age of 19. He lived therefore throughout the century during which biology became a science instead of a collection of heterogeneous disciplines. Andre Lwoff made a major contribution to this unification and became one of the fathers of what has been called molecular biology.
His father, a psychiatrist, and his mother, a painter and sculptor, were both of Russian origin. His taste for research probably came from his father who, like most of the Russian intelligentsia, had had to escape from the oppression of the tsarist regime. Like many of the progressives of this generation, his father cherished an unshakeable faith in science, especially in Darwin's evolutionary biology, which was considered to demonstrate the existence of a natural law of progress.