Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Gregor Johann Mendel

Gregor Johann Mendel was a biologist, a meteorologist, a mathematician, an Augustinian friar and an abbot.  He is known as the Father of Modern Genetics and he was a local Brno boy.  This year the city celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth.

He was born Johann Mendel to a German-speaking family on 20 July 1822 in Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austro-Hungary which is now Hynčice, in Silesia, Czech Republic.

He became a monk in part because it allowed him to get an education for free.  When he joined the Order of Saint Augustine at St. Thomas' Abbey, in Brno, he was given the name Gregor.  In Czech his name was Řehoř Jan Mendel.

While at the abbey he engaged in scientific research.  He coined the terms "dominant and recessive factors" now called genes and his experiments led to what's known as Mendel's Laws of Inheritance.  

In 1868, he became the abbot at St. Thomas' and his new administrative responsibilities basically put an end to his scientific work.  

Mendel died, at the age of 61, on 6 January 1884.  Leoš Janáček, the Czech composer, played the organ at his funeral.  His work in genetics wasn't recognised until more than three decades later at the turn of the 20th century.

Here's a short video I found out on YouTube about him. 


There are a number of activities planned throughout the year.  At 11 am, a Mendel-inspired marble will fall from the Brno Clock at náměstí Svobody.  

Brno's Mendel University is named after him.  

I still haven't visited the Mendel museum yet.  Guess I need to do it this year.

1 comment:

  1. First time I heard about this great man Gregor Johann Mendel. I know US has lots of people who come from other country but he was unknown to me.