200 anniversary of the birth of the Augustinian Gegor Mendel, the father of Genetics

During these days the Augustinian Family in the Czech Republic, together with the world of Science studies are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of P. Johann Mendel, an Augustinian who engaged in the study of genetics and contributed with important discoveries, so much so that he is known as the Father of Genetics.

Johann Mendel was born on July 20, 1822, in Hyncice (Heinzendorf), Silesia, today in the Czech Republic. At the age of 21, he embraced the Augustinian Religious life in the Abbey of Brno, where he was not only given religious training, but there, he also found a good ground to continue improving and strengthening his skills in natural sciences, especially studying biology and mathematics. In the Augustinian Order he was given the name of Gregor.

As an Augustinian he was given the possibility to continue his studies at the University of Vienna where he took the opportunity to dedicate more time to the studies of natural sciences, mathematics, and physics. Back in Brno he devoted himself to teaching and research.

Mendel chose to further deepen the study through experiments on a very common plant, that of the pea (pisum sativum). For 10 whole years he sowed, grew and compared a number of seeds of all shapes and types of peas. After a large number of experiments that he carried out with great care, Gregor was able to support the foundations of what is today known as the science of Genetics, published in his writing Versuche über Pflanzen -Hybridization. This manuscript is conserved in the archive of the Augustinian Community of the Abbey of Brno. In the last years of his life he was also Abbot of the same Abbey of Brno where he died on January 6, 1884.


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