Cover image for Gregor Mendel, and the roots of genetics
Gregor Mendel, and the roots of genetics
Edelson, Edward, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
105 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Explores the life of Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk whose experiments with pea plants became a foundation for modern genetics.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH31.M45 E34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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When Gregor Mendel passed away in 1884, not a single scholar recognized his epochal contributions to biology. The unassuming abbot of the Augustinian monastery in Brno (in today's Czech Republic) was rediscovered at the turn of the century when scientists were stunned to learn that theirfindings about inheritance had already been made by an unknown monk three decades earlier. A dedicated researcher who spent every spare hour in the study of the natural sciences, Mendel devised a series of brilliantly simple experiments using a plant easily grown on the monastery's grounds--thegarden pea. In the course of just a few years he made the famous discoveries that later became the centerpiece of the science of heredity. In an entertaining and thoroughly informed narrative, Edward Edelson traces Mendel's life from his humble origins to his posthumous fame, giving us both a briefintroduction to the fascinating science of genetics and an inspired account of what a modest man can accomplish with dedication and ingenuity. Oxford Portraits in Science is an ongoing series of scientific biographies for young adults. Written by top scholars and writers, each biography examines the personality of its subject as well as the thought process leading to his or her discoveries. These illustrated biographies combine accessibletechnical information with compelling personal stories to portray the scientists whose work has shaped our understanding of the natural world.

Author Notes

Edward Edelson is at New York University.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Before Mendel's experiments with plants, there was only folk wisdom and the general acceptance that offspring-plant, animal, and human-resemble their parents. Even at the time of his death in 1884, Mendel's work was not widely known in the scientific community. This biography provides details of the scientist's life and his experiments as well as the political and social context of his times. Sidebars in some of the chapters are listed in the table of contents, making it easy to locate the discussion of such related topics as "Heredity before Mendel," "Mendel and Darwin," "Did Mendel Cheat?" and "The Human Genome Project." A two-page chronology tracks important events in his life and the vital contributions he made to the study of genetics. Black-and-white photographs, reproductions of artwork, and pages from the scientist's notebooks and manuscripts accompany the text.-Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.