as a "Hired Gun" for the local economy.
cities in America compete with each other to lure high-tech industries
to stimulate the local economy. Especially popular are the biotech
companies that develop genetically engineered animals, plants, and
medicines. Would you believe that a similar circumstance helped
create the whole science of genetics over 135 years ago?
people think that Mendel stumbled on basic genetic principles by
puttering around in his garden. That is the way the story is usually
told. But Gregor was specifically recruited
to the monastery because he was scientifically trained and because
the people of the countryside had a long tradition in selective
breeding of livestock and plants. Of special interest to the farmers
and the city fathers was the breeding programs for sheep, because
wool had to be imported from Spain. The Brno civic leaders had founded several scientific
societies for the purposes of improving the town's prestige and
economy. So, in some ways, Gregor was a "hired gun," who
was expected to do something for the local economy. Although Gregor worked
in a monastery, today we would call his work enviornment an incubator focused on promoting scientific
progress in agricultural biotechnology.