Gregor Mendel was one of the greatest biologists of the 19th century. In June it is 150 years ago that he gave his third lecture at the Natural Science Society of Brno. The first two lectures, in 1865, were about his later famous crossing experiments in pea (Pisum). This third lecture was about crosses in Hieracium, hawkweeds.
Based on newly discovered historical sources and critical analyses of existing sources, Peter van Dijk, plant geneticist at KeyGene, recently published two articles with new insights into Mendel's work in GENETICS, the journal of the Genetics Society of America. To commemorate the Hieracium lecture of 150 years ago, Peter van Dijk will give a talk at Impulse on Wednesday, June 12th, where he will share his findings on a number of the Mendel myths and mysteries.
Mendel: Myths and Mysteries
Geneticists believe that because Mendel was unable to reproduce his pea results in Hieracium, he lost faith in genetics. Historians of science however, believe that that Mendel was studying the question whether new species could arise from hybridization and therefore that his Hieracium work was a greater success than his pea experiments. Because Mendel’s work was rediscovered 16 years after his death and his notebooks had been burned we know very little about Mendel’s real motives.