Gregor Johan Mendel Essay Research Paper Todd

Gregor Johan Mendel Essay, Research Paper Todd Paoletti Per 6 Mrs. Azevedo Gregor Johann Mendel Gregor Johann Mendel was born in 1822 in Heinzendorf, Moravia. It is now the

Gregor Johan Mendel Essay, Research Paper

Todd Paoletti

Per 6

Mrs. Azevedo

Gregor Johann Mendel

Gregor Johann Mendel was born in 1822 in Heinzendorf, Moravia. It is now the

Czech Republic. When he was 22, he entered the Augustinian Monastery of St. Thomas at


The Augustinian monastery was established in Moravia in 1350. The monks at the

monastery included philosophers, a musicologist, mathematicians, mineralogists and

botanists who all liked scientific research and teaching. The library contained very old

religious books, as well as books dealing with problems in the sciences. The monastery

also held a huge mineral collection and had an experimental botanical garden and a

herbarium (whatever that is). It was in that monastery, Mendel later wrote, that his

preference for the natural sciences was developed.

After becoming an ordained to priesthood, Mendel was assigned to pastoral duties.

But, it soon became apparent that he was more interested in teaching and science. He was

sent to a secondary school in the city of Znaim and the students liked him. But, when he

took the qualifying state examination for his teaching certificate, he failed. It was

recommended that Mendel not retake the examination for at least a year and his Abbot

brought him back to Brunn where he taught part-time. The Abbot, amazed at Mendel’s

knowledge in science, sent him to the University of Vienna in order to improve his skills

for his reexamination. Mendel spent four terms in Vienna (1851- 1853) where he attended

lectures and seminars in natural sciences and mathematics. It was there that he acquired

the scientific skills which he would use to apply to his later experiments. Mendel returned

to his monastery, and continued to teach in Brunn in 1854. When, two years later, he

attempted to get his teaching certification, he became ill and withdrew (yeah right!). He

did not try again to take the examination, but continued to teach part-time and was devote

to his research.

Soon after his return from the University of Vienna, Mendel began his

experiments. Using 34 different kinds of peas (which, by the way had to be tested for their

genetic purity), he tried to determine whether it was possible to obtain new types of peas

by “crossbreeding”. Around this time, everyone thought that only the male contributed to

the traits of the subject, but Mendel thought that genes were contributed by both the male

and female. He eventually established two principles of heredity that are now well know as

the Law of Segregation and the Law of Independent Assortment. He became the first

to understand the importance of a statistical experiment and to apply a knowledge of

mathematics to his biological problem.

Mendel’s findings on plant hybridization were presented in two lectures before the

Society for the Natural Sciences in Brunn in 1865. The paper was “Versuche uber

Pfanzenhybriden” (no, I don’t know what that means). The guys in this club, all laughed at

Mendel, and they didn’t think any of his information was correct. It was still published in

the Society’s Proceedings in 1866 and sent to 133 other groups of natural scientists and to

the more important libraries in a number of different countries. His work, however, was

largely ignored until, in the spring of 1900, three botanists, Hugo de Vries (Holland), Carl

Correns (Germany) and E. von Tschermak (Austria) reported independent verifications of

Mendel’s work which amounted to a rediscovery of his first principle. Now, everyone was

kicking themselves for not listening to Mendel. It was then that Mendel’s work was

recognized. His work gave birth to a new branch of biology – genetics.

Mendel was not mad that his work was ignored for so long. Disappointment never

affected him even as he pondered other problems and applied mathematical methods to his

work in horticulture, apiculture (?), meteorology, astronomy and other branches of

science. Just before his death on January 6, 1884, he commented: “My scientific labors

have brought me a great deal of satisfaction, and I am convinced that before long the

entire world will praise the result of my labors”. This guy has a pretty good life story I


The End…………………………………………..By: Todd Michael Paoletti

(bibliography supplied upon request!)