Celebrating 150 Years of Experiments in Plant Hybridization
In 1865, Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar, presented a paper that resulted from years of experiments on pea plants in the garden of St. Thomas Monastery in the Czech Republic. While the paper, “Experiments in Plant Hybridization,” initially made only a modest impact in the scientific community, it soon came to be known as a groundbreaking work and continues to provide a basis for research into genetics and heredity.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of the paper and to celebrate Villanova University’s connections to the field of genetics, from Mendel to modern day, Villanova will host the inaugural Mendel Symposium Dec. 7, 2015. The symposium will bring together several of the world’s leading minds to discuss the lasting impact of Mendel’s work across many disciplines, from law and medicine to sustainability and ethics.
Villanova University, which was founded by the Augustinian Order, plays a key role in sustaining Mendel’s legacy. The University’s science center is named for Mendel, and, since 1929, prominent scientists, including several Nobel Prize recipients, have been honored with the Mendel Medal, given in recognition of outstanding scientific achievement accompanied by religious conviction. The Mendel Symposium will further the conversation around Mendel as an innovator whose work remains relevant and enlightening in today’s world.