(July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884)
Gregor Mendel is universally acknowledged as the “Father of Genetics”. It was his botanical experiments that unlocked the secrets of hereditary. For ages, the science of genetics begged 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. Had he examined the mechanisms behind those resemblances, 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. And he responded by researching on mice and bees. But the bishop overseeing their abbey deemed such animal husbandry (which he called “animal sex”) to be an unsuitable project for friars. So, Mendel switched to plant breeding: comparing parameters such as heights and flower colors. He then analyzed his findings with simple statistics: 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. His Laws of Heredity were so ahead of their time that nobody appreciated them until long after his death. Gregor Mendel also researched on astronomy and meteorology. Actually, he published more treatises on meteorology than in genetics; and even founded Austria’s Meteorological Society.