Gregor Johann Mendel – Father of Modern Genetics and his Life Lessons

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Gregor Johann Mendel – Father of Modern Genetics and his Life Lessons

Whenever people, on an extensive scale, discuss deeply or even initiate and engage in propaganda to promote the contributions or ideals of certain personalities in some sort of public platforms, I automatically get these thoughts: Why, all of a sudden, are most people talking about a personality who long back had passed away? Why weren’t the contributions or ideals celebrated as they are being now than when the respective individuals were alive? What kinds of circumstances are making most people hand-pick such persons, regard them in high esteem, debate their works and eventually term them to be momentous?

Of late, by chance, I revisited the news of exposition of Gregor Johann Mendel’s paper on genetics, ‘Experiments on plant hybridization’, which many of us would still be remembering of having a brief outlook, on this greatest path-breaking experiment, in our school studies. For me, by then in my schooldays, the chapters comprising Mendel’s works in my Botany book were a piece of information meant for knowledge acquisition and of course, to effectively reproduce my comprehensions in the examinations. But now with my view, which I have garnered reading the societies’ behavior in recognizing the contributions or discoveries of individuals, it appears apparently to me that rather than primarily focusing on one’s deeds with an intention of receiving instant recognition, one’s active and an honest participation in one’s own passion is what that counts a lot.

If not Mendel’s passionate pull towards his experimentation, amidst his pastoral duties in church, related to plant hybridization then there wouldn’t have been presentations about his findings as a paper, ‘Experiments on plant hybridization’ at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brno in Moravia in 1865. As an immediate follow-up to the presentation, despite the recognition being minimal, reports in local newspapers showcased his discovery. Thereby, in 1990, independent rediscoveries of Mendel’s works on genetics by Erich Von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and William Jasper Spillman conceded Mendel’s priority. At a later time, the scientific fraternity went on to claim Mendel as the ‘Father of Modern Genetics’. These historical events clearly suggest that Gregor Johann Mendel was indeed phenomenal in ensuring a breakthrough in his topmost priority i.e. his work related to genetics and keeping secondary the process of promoting his research which was not noticed significantly then. Likewise, one’s passion should be fed by providing well defined results driven by an uncompromising effort by the corresponding person. If not an instant recognition, there are high chances for the outcome to gain prominence when a need arises for the value of the content at some point of time, in future.

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