Gregor Johann Mendel

The founder of genetics and the discoverer of the basic laws of heredity was born in the small village of Hynčice on 20 July 20 1822 and died in Brno on 6 January 1884. He was a biologist, a geneticist, a beekeeper, a mathematician, a botanist, a priest, a naturalist… So much for the historical record.

But Mendel was first and foremost a man. He had a lot of virtues and, like everyone else, he must have had a few bad habits, too. We know one thing for sure – he was a heavy smoker! But did that mean he was any worse of a person? Are his contributions to the history of science any less significant because of it? Not in the least.

As long as there are people in the world, there will be bad habits. We’ll fight some and we’ll nurture others, but they’re simply part of our DNA. If Mr. Mendel were still alive, he might have been steering his research in this direction. At any rate, this gift is from all of us on the occasion of his 200th birthday, in thanks for all he managed to accomplish.

Happy birthday, Mr. Mendel!