On September 28, at 10 am, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University presents the symposium Mendel’s Peas and Today’s Genes: Healthcare, Ethics, and Genetics in the Fisher Colloquium at Georgetown, with opening remarks by Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček. The keynote address on Gregor Mendel and his legacy will be delivered by Ondřej Dostál, Director of the Mendel Museum in the Czech Republic, followed by an expert panel discussing topics such as inherited breast cancer by Lombardi Senior Genetics Counselor Beth Peskin, reproductive ethics by legal expert Susan Crockin, genomic medicine by Oncology Professor Kevin FitzGerald, and eugenics by Kennedy Institute of Ethics Professor Emeritus LeRoy Walters.
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.
Admission is free