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About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot

About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


ESP Digital Book

A History of Genetics

Alfred H. Sturtevant

Mendel's Original Paper

The paper that established the foundations of modern genetics, but was neglected for 34 years.

Mendel rediscovered by de Vries, Correns, and von Tschermak

In 1900, several researchers rediscovered Mendel's work.

William Bateson promotes Mendelism

Bateson was one of the first to recognize the truly transformative nature of Mendel's approach.

Thomas Morgan discovers first X-linked gene in Drosophila

The discovery of an X-linked gene provided Morgan and his group with the starting point for establishing the chromosomal model of inheritance.

Alfred Sturtevant creates the world's first genetic map

Sturtevant (one of Morgan's students) created the first chromosomal map while he was still an undergraduate.

Calvin Bridges provides proof that sex-linked genes are physically carried on the X chromosome

Bridges (another of Morgan's students) carried out work that proved that genes were carried on chromosomes.

Hermann Muller studies the mechanism of crossing-over

Muller (another of Morgan's students) made a systematic study of crossing-over - the process by which genetic material is exchanged between chromosomes.

T. H. Morgan and his students (Sturtevant, Bridges, and Muller) publish a monograph on The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity

In 1915, Morgan and his students publish a monograph describing their model for the mechanisms of Mendelian heredity.


Alfred H. Sturtevant was a key member of T. H. Morgan's "Fly Room" team at Columbia University. This group proved that genes are real objects, carried on chromosomes. While still an undergraduate, Sturtevant showed that the relative location of genes could be measured and he produced the first genetic map of a chromosome.

Originally published in 1965, this book was jointly republished in 2001 by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and the Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project. This is one of the few histories of early genetics written by one who was there. Although originally neglected because it appeared concurrently with the sudden rise of molecular genetics, it is still essential reading for anyone interested in the history of genetics.

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg.


ESP now offers a large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )