On September 14, at 6 pm, the Embassy of the Czech Republic launches the Mutual Inspirations Festival with lectures by Director of the Mendel Museum at Masaryk University Ondřej Dostál on Mendel and the Laws of Inheritance and Villanova University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Edward Guinan on Beyond Peas and Genetics – Gregor Mendel’s “Other Sciences: Bees, Sunspots, Meteorology and Tornados.” The opening of the exhibition Gregor Johann Mendel – Science, Beliefs, Politics will follow the Q&A. Admission is free.
The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, concentrating on the mutual influence between Czech and American cultures and the feats of personalities who have led the way. In its previous seven years, the festival has highlighted such personalities as President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (2010), composer Antonín Dvořák (2011), filmmaker Miloš Forman (2012), President Václav Havel (2013), writer Franz Kafka (2014), author Karel Čapek (2015), and tennis legend Martina Navrátilová (2016).
For its eighth year, the Mutual Inspirations Festival honors founder of genetics Gregor Mendel (1822-84), marking the 195th anniversary of his birth. This humble genius was born and conducted his groundbreaking research on the same land he sowed and loved, today’s Czech Republic. While experimenting with pea plants, he wrote his rules of heredity, referred to as Mendelian inheritance and considered worldwide as seminal work for the foundation of the new science — genetics. Beyond his pioneering conclusions, Mendel is revered for his protracted years of meticulous and painstaking experimentation. Mendel died with little recognition, but stated, “I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work.” Today, he is lauded for his trailblazing work.