These Scientists Rock. Literally.

The Pasteur Institute, since opening in the 15th Arrondissement in Paris in the late 1880s, has been recognized for world-altering scientific discoveries. The institute, named for Louis Pasteur, the pioneering French scientist who founded it, has contributed to the production of vaccines for tetanus and the flu and was at the forefront of discovering the virus that causes AIDS.

In recent years, the Pasteur Institute has made advancements in another field — the musical arts — as some of its scientists have formed bands and other acts involving colleagues as well as students who have studied there. That cohort has honed its musical passion and ability at an on-site studio they call the music lab.

On a Friday evening in March, three acts developed in the lab headlined an event held at the institute’s cafeteria. They included Polaris and also Billie and the What?!, both blues-rock bands, and an a cappella group, Les Papillons, or “the butterflies” in English.

Some performers in the a cappella group Les Papillons, or “the butterflies” in English, accessorized their outfits with wings. Credit…Cedrine Scheidig for The New York Times
Germano Cecere, a director at the institute, center rear on the drums, performed with his band Billie and the What?!Credit…Cedrine Scheidig for The New York Times

Moody purple light bathed the room, which was decorated with balloons and streamers in shades of pink, gold and white. It was filled with more than a hundred people, as well as with an array of equipment, including mics, speakers, guitars and an elaborate drum kit.

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