Today’s Google Doodle honours the birthday in 1822 of the most famous friar in science Gregor Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884). Mendel gained posthumous fame as the founder of what would ultimately evolve into the science of genetics. He studied the inheritance traits of pea plants and demonstrated that inheritance followed particular rules, later known as Mendel’s laws. As I wrote many years ago for a booklet for UK TV station, Channel 4, the significance of Mendel’s work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century, when his “laws” were rediscovered by Hugo de Vries, Carl Corrensby and Erich von Tschermak-Seysenegg.
- Early history of genetics revised