UVU Dean Receives Mendel Memorial Medal in Czech Republic

University Marketing & Communications: Layton Shumway | 801-863-6863 | LShumway@uvu.edu

Daniel Fairbanks, dean of Utah Valley University’s College of Science and Health, received the prestigious Mendel Memorial Medal at a ceremony on March 8 at the Moravian Museum in Brno, Czech Republic.

The Mendel Memorial Medal is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to furthering research and understanding on scientist Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics. It was first awarded in 1965 at the Mendel Centennial Symposium in Brno and is the oldest and most prestigious of what are now several Mendel Medals. The organization that awards it is the Centrum Mendelianum, a division of the Moravian Museum.

“I became enamored with Mendel and his research when I first learned of it in 1979 as an undergraduate student,” Fairbanks said. “It impressed me then as some of the most elegant and lucid scientific research ever conducted, and my subsequent career has substantially solidified and amplified that first impression. I have for all of my career used Mendel’s experiments not only as the foundation of genetics, but more importantly as the best example of the nature of science: how exceptionally well-designed scientific experimentation can reveal the principles of science. I consider it an honor to be recognized as a Mendel scholar, and especially to be the recipient of this year’s Mendel Memorial Medal.”

An accomplished artist, Fairbanks has created a series of paintings, drawings, and sculpture titled “In Mendel’s Footsteps: An Exhibition of the People, Places, and Scientific Research in the Life of Gregor Mendel.” The exhibit debuted in the Moravian Museum on March 8. Following the debut and medal ceremony, Donna Fairbanks, UVU department of music chair and Daniel’s wife, performed violin selections by Czech composer Leos Janacek.

“Daniel and Donna Fairbanks are the perfect representation of how science and the arts can complement each other,” said UVU senior vice president of academic affairs Jeffery E. Olson. “They exemplify what we strive to achieve at UVU, and we are thrilled to see Dean Fairbanks receive such a high honor.”

For more information, visit http://www.mendelianum.cz/en/interesting-events/event/27-international-mendel-day-2017.

Fairbanks speaks on Gregor Josef Mendel Expo

Dean of the College of Science & Health, and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University Daniel J. Fairbanks speaks with those in attendance of an exhibit on Gregor Josef Mendel, the scientist and Augusitinian friar at the Moravian Museum in Brno, Czech Republic. Fairbanks was awarded this years Mendel Memorial Medal for his research and artistic works on Mendal.
March 8, 2017, Photo by Mike Terry.

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