Georges Teissier (1900–1972) and the Modern Synthesis in France
Laurent Loison


This Perspectives is devoted to the ideas of the French zoologist Georges Teissier about the mechanisms of evolution and the relations between micro- and macroevolution. Working in an almost universally neo-Lamarckian context in France, Teissier was one of the very few Darwinians there at the time of the evolutionary synthesis. The general atmosphere of French zoology during the 1920s and the 1930s will first be recalled, to understand the specific conditions in which Teissier became a zoologist. After a brief overview of his joint work with Philippe L’Héritier on the experimental genetics of Drosophila, this article describes the ways Teissier, during the 1950s, conceptualized the mechanisms that could allow for macroevolutionary transitions.

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