City of Brno Launches Celebrations of “Father of Genetics” Mendel’s Birthday

The City of Brno has begun early celebrations of Gregor Mendel’s 200th birthday, which will fall in 2022. A giant pea has been spotted in different places around the city, a new mobile information stand about his work and legacy has been opened, and from Friday until Sunday, a festival in his name will feature a variety of educational and entertaining activities. Photos: TMA / Brno Daily.

Brno, Jul 15 (BD) – In 2022, it will be 200 years since the birth of the world-famous Brno scientist Gregor Johann Mendel. Celebrations have begun this year with a giant wandering pea, a festival in his name kicking off on Friday, and a “MendelBox”, providing information on the father of genetics.

On Tuesday, the “MendelBox” was officially opened to the public in the courtyard of the New Town Hall, next to the temporary home of the pea. The Box is an information stand where people can learn about the legacy of the most famous personality of Brno, left in the form of his genetic discoveries. The Box will appear in different locations over the next two years, until the birthday celebrations are over.

The MendelBox.

“There is no doubt that Brno is a city of science and research. And this is partly because two centuries ago, a modest clergyman and scientist began to follow his imagination in the local abbey. The famous cross-breeding of peas laid the foundation for an entire scientific field, thanks to which we can feed most people on the planet today and fight long-invincible diseases. I am proud that Brno is a mecca for geneticists around the world,” said Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková (ODS).

The City of Brno considers the unveiling of the MendelBox as just one of its birthday gifts to the famous scientist this year. In addition, a science program will take place at public events, aiming to present current genetic research on plant and human genomes. Brno residents will have the chance to meet the scientists involved in research on coronavirus, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, breeding of vines and woody plants, and the loss of bees in the wild.

The MendelBox and pea in the New Town Hall courtyard.

Individual partners will decide what exactly will be exhibited in the mobile information stand. In the first months, the box will be on display at the “Mendel Festival” birthday party in the Augustinian Abbey from July 17th to 19th, followed by other public events in Brno such as the Science Festival, the beginning of the academic year at Mendel University, Mendel’s Masaryk University Days and more.

“We will have space to pay attention to all the sides of this Renaissance Man, from the clergyman, geneticist and scientist, to the meteorologist, astronomer, beekeeper and banker. However, our goal is not to remember Mendel only as a historical figure, but to show his influence on contemporary science, where his followers have taken his ideas, and where they are heading,” said Jiří Dušek, the coordinator of the City of Brno’s Mendel +2022 project.

Information and merchandise inside the MendelBox in the courtyard.

Mendel Festival

From Friday the 17th until Sunday the 19th, the annual Mendel festival will take place in the Augustinian Abbey of St. Thomas at Mendlovo Náměstí, as well as in locations throughout the city such as Masaryk University, Mendel University, Brno Observatory and Planetarium, VIDA!, Brno Zoo, KJM and in the towns of Vražné and Znojmo.

On Friday, the festival will present a program for adults and children at the festival partners’ sites noted above.

The pea on Malinovského Náměstí.

On Saturday, an educational entertainment program will take place in the abbey complex on Mendlovo Náměstí, and the Mendel Museum will organize a workshop for children as well as guided tours of the area. The auditoria of Masaryk and Charles University will host lectures by experts on the subject of genetics and science.

Later in the afternoon, the band BomBarďák and Filharmonie Brno will perform film music on stage. This year’s novelty in the abbey area will be a summer cinema, where you can watch the film ‘Gravity’ in the open air.

The pea at Špilberk Castle.

At Medlánky Airport, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the hangar and will have the opportunity to take a reconnaissance flight over Brno for a special discount price.

On Sunday, a mass by Marek Orko Vácha will bring Mendel closer as a man of science and faith. 

For more information and the full program, you can visit the website here.

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