History of Genetics

One of the most popular forms for presenting the history of genetics on the internet is the timeline. Of the many timelines available, the top five are summarized below.

• Dynamic Timeline

This timeline is featured on the Human Genome Project website. It offers narrative explanations of key events from Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species to the announcement of the working draft of the genome in 2000. While it is not as easy to browse as other internet timelines, it offers substantially more information.

• History of Genetics Timeline http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEPC/WWC/1994/geneticstln.html
This timeline was written by Jo Ann Lane in 1994 for Access Excellence. It offers a chronological list of important scientists and their discoveries from Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Wallace’s theory of natural selection in 1858 to the invention of the FlavrSavr tomato in 1993. This timeline is also available at http://www.woodrow.org/teachers/bi/1994/geneticstln.html

• Landmarks in the History of Genetics
This timeline was created by M.Tevfik Dorak and was last updated in 2005. It offers a chronology of events from Robert Hooke’s description of cells to the sequencing of the human y-chromosome in 2003. Some references and links are included in this lengthy list of events.

• Landmarks in the History of Genetics
This timeline was created by Francis Steen at UCLA in 1998. It offers a chronological list of events and their theoretical implications from Maupertuis’ account of organic design to the Human Genome Project. The timeline is complemented by a bibliography of relevant sources and a set of links.

• Genetics in Context
This timeline was created by Robert Robbins as part of the Foundations of Classical Genetics section of his Electronic Scholarly Publishing website. This website was described in the 2005 issue of The Mendel Newsletter. While the Foundations of Classical Genetics site is dominated by an amazing array of primary sources, the comparative timeline places these sources in context. Unlike other timelines that offer a chronology of scientific events, this timelines offers side-by-side timelines of developments in genetics and other historically significant events, notably the succession of US presidents. The events in this timeline are rich and frequently linked to primary sources or more descriptive webpages.


Maintained by Michael Dietrich, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College