Although Masaryk University is quintessentially linked to the traditions and ethos of the First Czechoslovak Republic, as represented by the lifelong work of its namesake, Tomáš G. Masaryk, its scientific ambitions are rooted in earlier research efforts in nineteenth-century Brno. Certainly the most extraordinary of figures in this area was Gregor Johann Mendel (1822–1884), naturalist and abbot of the Augustinian monastery in Old Brno, who is known to whole world as the founder of genetics. His discoveries of the principles of heredity are regarded as groundbreaking acts that are among the greatest scientific achievements of the modern era. It is thus no wonder that both Masaryk University and the Mendel Museum, which it administers, proudly recognise the legacy of this pre-eminent scientist and commemorate his work each autumn during the Mendel Days – a series of lectures, discussions, presentations, and cultural events. This year is no exception, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic, and this festival devoted to G. J. Mendel and his legacy will take place as usual, albeit in a manner appropriate to the current situation.

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