Bertier, Joseph-Etienne (1702-1783)

Orator, professor.

A partisan of the “tourbillons” of Descartes. Louis XIV dubbed him the père aux tourbillons. Taught natural philosophy and chemistry at Le Mans.

Met Franklin during Franklin’s trip to Paris (1767). Elected to the Royal Society of London (1768). Author of various books on physics. Published Histoire des premiers temps du monde … (1777), in which he claimed that Genesis must be read backwards in order to understand its meaning. Sent a copy of this work to Franklin (1783).

Born in Aix. Alternate form of the name: Berthier.