Life of Mendel

Life of Mendel

Life of Mendel

Life of Mendel

Excerpt

Few publications have so enduringly and variously influenced science as has the short monograph by the Augustinian monk of Brünn, Pater Gregor Mendel. Forgotten for decades, within a few years after its rediscovery it gave a mighty impetus to the doctrine of heredity; and, as mendelism, his teaching has now become the central theme of biological research as well as the foundation of manifold practical applications.

The widespread influence of his work and his own remarkable destiny combine to arouse interest in the personality and the life of this investigator who, little known in his lifetime, was one of the pioneers of science, and disclosed an unknown land before the time was ripe. It is all the more surprising that no detailed biography has hitherto been published, the sole data as yet available being contained in minor notices issued by some of his relatives.

While still only a schoolboy I read Mendel's classical monograph in the museum library of my native town of Brünn, of course without grasping its significance. When subsequently, during the days in which I was a science student, Mendel's work became so widely known and his name so famous, I made up my mind to gather information regarding his life and to contribute to keeping his memory in honour. Up till now this resolve has only borne fruit in the publication of a considerable number of short articles and popular essays dealing with Mendel's life and work. If only at this later date . . .

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