(July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884)
Gregor Mendel is universally acknowledged as the “Father of Genetics”. It was his botanical experiments that first unlocked the secrets of hereditary. For ages, the science of genetics has been waiting to be unveiled. And despite having intrigued us for centuries, nobody bothered to investigate it until Mendel did in the 1850s. This is surprising: given the fact that Carl Linnaeus used similarity traits as basis for his taxonomy in the 1730s. Hence, I wonder why it never occurred to him to proceed further by establishing the mechanisms which brought those resemblances into play. Had he done that, he would have been praised for genetics in addition to taxonomy. Notwithstanding, Mendel deserves every accolade that genetics brought him. The fact that various breeds of flora and fauna exhibit various traits piqued his curiosity. So he began by researching on plant breeding: comparing parameters such as heights and flower colors. He then used Statistics to analyze his findings: realizing that the outcomes of successive filial generations were so consistent that they could be predicted. His methodologies were as revolutionary as his inferences were conclusive. They opened the door to all the wonders of hereditary which fascinate us today. Mendel was well-ahead of his time. That explains why his works were not appreciated until long after his death.