A true individual, the Father of Genetics, Gregor Johann Mendel 1822–1884) was born on this day in Hyncice, Moravia (what is now the Czech Republic) and spent most of his life as an Augustinian monk in Brno, Austria.
"The value and utility of any experiment are determined by the fitness of the material," he said.
Surrounded by the monastery's large gardens, Mendel carried out experiments with thousands of pea plants in the greenhouse from 1854 and 1864.
A celebration of art and science, Mendel wrote that "his special liking for the field of natural science deepened the more he had opportunity to become familiar with it." He grew an estimated 28,000 plant, counting and classifying some 300,000 peas.
As the great Greek philosopher Sophocles put it, "Look and you will find it - what is unsought will go undetected."
Mendel's research findings of segregation, dominance, and independent assortment became the basis of modern genetics.
These laws of heredity were published in 1865 and ignored by the scientific community for decades. In 1900, scientists Carl Correns and Hugo de Vries, working independently, rediscovered Mendel's rules.
Dwell in surprise. Challenge the odds.