The history of genetics: pre-Mendelian research networks

  • Poczai, Péter (Principal Investigator)
  • T. Szabó, Attila (Participant)
  • Muszynski, Lisa (Participant)
  • Sekerák, Jiří (Participant)
  • Santiago-Blay, Jorge (Participant)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

Contemporary science thrives on collaborative networks, but these can also be found elsewhere in the history of science in unexpected places. When Mendel turned his attention to inheritance in peas he was not an isolated monk, but rather the latest in a line of Moravian researchers and agriculturalists who had been thinking about inheritance for half a century. Many of the principles of inheritance had already been sketched out by Imre Festetics, a Hungarian sheep breeder active in Brno. Festetics, however, was ultimately hindered by the complex nature of his study traits, aspects of wool quality that we now know to be polygenic. Whether or not Mendel was aware of Festetics's ideas, both men were products of the same vibrant milieu in 19th-century Moravia that combined theory and agricultural practice to eventually uncover the rules of inheritance.
Effective start/end date03/04/201431/12/2021


  • Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki: €850.00

Fields of Science

  • 1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology