Scientists – 25 May 2020

Here is a portrait of a very fine couple indeed. They are together in a room of classical proportions, an indicator of their learning. The man is writing, but looking up at the woman because they are concerned with a collaborative effort. They are attractive and finely dressed, confident and forward looking. They are surrounded by scientific instruments, because they are chemists.

The couple are Antoine Lavoisier and his wife Marie-Anne Paulze. Lavoisier is considered to be the father of chemistry. Among many discoveries, he determined that oxygen is a key substance in combustion and gave the element its name. Marie-Anne edited and published his experiments, so establishing the modern foundations of the scientific method. They were among the first to make the case that good science can be trusted.

The picture is by Jacques Louis David (1788), and hangs in the Met Museum in New York. For him the couple exemplified the height of reason, what minds could achieve to further human understanding and existence. For David science was a force for good.



If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:4-5

Bless medical scientists and researchers around the world
With insight and skill, dedication and fortitude,
As they combat coronavirus,
So that their work yields knowledge and understanding,
Speedily finding a vaccine, treatments and deterrents to its spread.
Source of life, Grant public health and government officials
The strength to act swiftly and decisively,
With compassion and understanding,
In service to humankind,
Fighting this outbreak
And the other diseases that still plague the planet,
Diseases threatening the lives of our brothers and sisters,
Nations and communities,
Young and old.

Rock of Ages,
Bring an end to disease and suffering,
So that all may know
Your compassion and Your grace.
Praised are You, God, healer of flesh, maker of wonders.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and
Coronavirus: A Prayer for Medical Scientists God of wisdom