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MU contributes to this year’s commemoration of G. J. Mendel

The anniversary of the birth of Gregor Johann Mendel, abbot of Brno and founder of modern genetics, is once again being commemorating in Brno at the multi-genre Mendel Festival. The programme also includes events organized by MU.

The Mendel Festival music programme takes place on 21 and 22 July.

“For the Mendel Museum, this is one of the most important and anticipated events of the year. It is a great opportunity to popularize science,” says Blanka Křížová, director of the University museum that bears Mendel's name and is located on the grounds of the Old Brno Abbey. The University has prepared several natural science activities for festival visitors, such as sampling, replicating DNA with beads, and examining fossilized teeth. There will also be several popular lectures. People will also be able to try their hand at making their own slides and examining them under a microscope or learning about bird calls right in the museum. On Tuesday, 18 July, the museum organized a group game called Become a Meteorologist.

The festival culminates with concerts on Friday and Saturday, 21 and 22 July, on a stage behind the basilica in Old Brno. The main guest will be the French band Gipsy Kings, preceded by the Brno band Poletíme? Events will also take place at other venues in Brno, including the Botanical Garden of the MU Faculty of Science, where guided tours of the greenhouses will take place on Friday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors can also see the exhibition “Sculptures Among Flowers” and an inflatable giant pea, which symbolizes the events associated with G. J. Mendel. The Botanical Garden also has activities for children. You must register for the tour in advance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The specialist part of the festival programme, in which MU is also involved in the form of a lecture afternoon with popular science topics in the field of genetics, will also take place on Saturday, 22 June.  

This year's festival takes place one year after the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mendel's birth, which was attended by several Nobel Prize winners and prominent geneticists. Scientists under the guidance of MU Vice-Rector Šárka Pospíšilová analysed Mendel's DNA, a Mendel greenhouse was built on the abbey grounds, and the adjacent square was given a new look, including the sculpture Hrachoviny, a memorial to the founder of genetics. “These events and celebrations have helped to raise awareness about Mendel's work not only in genetics but also in the other fields he was involved in. G. J. Mendel has received more media attention and his legacy has become more accessible to the wider public,” says Blanka Křížová, who believes that the Mendel Museum is receiving more visitors and that schools are also becoming more interested in its educational programmes. “Last year we added two new programmes: Secrets of Genetic Modifications and The Modest Genius G. J. Mendel,” she adds.