April 18, 1865 (a Tuesday)

Karl Wilhelm von Naegeli, the man who discouraged Gregor Mendel from further work on genetics.

Karl Wilhelm von Naegeli, the man who discouraged Gregor Mendel from further work on genetics.

On this date, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, 42, sent the results of his seven-year study of peas to the eminent biologist Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli in Munich. Within these results were the basic laws of genetics, which the humble Mendel discovered single-handedly in a small garden at the Brünn monastery (now in Brno, Czech Republic). Nägeli failed to see the importance of the work; he suggested that Mendel try new experiments with different plants. Nägeli’s cool reception, coupled with the failure of the new experiments, were instrumental in Mendel’s abandoning serious research.

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