Gregor Mendel's classic paper and the nature of science in genetics courses
Article first published online: 2 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors
Volume 147, Issue 6, pages 293–303, December 2010
How to Cite
Westerlund, J. F. and Fairbanks, D. J. (2010), Gregor Mendel's classic paper and the nature of science in genetics courses. Hereditas, 147: 293–303. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5223.2010.02199.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 2 NOV 2010
- Paper received 14 June 2010. manuscript accepted 6 September 2010.
The discoveries of Gregor Mendel, as described by Mendel in his 1866 paper Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden (Experiments on plant hybrids), can be used in undergraduate genetics and biology courses to engage students about specific nature of science characteristics and their relationship to four of his major contributions to genetics. The use of primary source literature as an instructional tool to enhance genetics students’ understanding of the nature of science helps students more clearly understand how scientists work and how the science of genetics has evolved as a discipline. We offer a historical background of how the nature of science developed as a concept and show how Mendel's investigations of heredity can enrich biology and genetics courses by exemplifying the nature of science.