Born in a family of peasant, he barely received secondary education and could not graduate from the University of Vienna. Back then he was given the name Gregor when he joined St. Thomas monastery in Brünn (now Brno). In Vienna, he took interest in biology and upon his return to the monastery he set up a small garden just outside his cell. This garden made him famous. For plant cross-breeding experiments, Mendel chose pea plants because they did not spontaneously produce any cross breeds. Brother Gregor spent ten years cross-breeding pea varieties different by single and specific attributes, such as form and color of the seeds. As a result of his experiments, Mendel came up with the famous “pea laws” many of his contemporaries ridiculed. They did not know back then that the Augustinian monk was not a laughing stock but the founder of a new science. The pea laws are now called the Mendelian laws and Mendelism is considered to be the foundation for the classical genetics. But Mendel received recognition only after his death. In his lifetime, his articles on the pages of the magazine published by a modest Moravian scientific society did not capture attention of the scholars and Mendel spent the remainder of his life keeping bees, gardening and conducting meteorological observations.
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