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Biographies & Memoirs - Biographies Science & Math - Biological Sciences

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The Case of Paul Kammerer: The Most Controversial Biologist of His Time

ISBN: 9781933480480
Binding: Paperback
Author: Klaus Taschwer
Pages: 326
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 11/15/2019

The case of Paul Kammerer is a well researched and highly readable historical account of one of the biggest, till today unsolved scientific scandals. Paul Kammerer, ‘the father of epigenetic,’ was a talented and idealistic biologist, whose ground-breaking research made headlines worldwide. Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, where Kammerer lived and worked, was at its creative peak yet already declining toward Nazism. The book that reads like a detective story, provides new evidence for the events that led to Kammerer’s tragic end while exposing the implicit yet dangerous links between science and politics.


With a background in the sociology of science, political science and philosophy, Klaus Taschwer lives in Vienna and is the science editor of the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. He is the founding editor of the science magazine heureka!, the co-author of Konrad Lorenz. A Biography and recipient of the 2016 Austrian State Award for Scientific Journalism.

“Taschwer’s important book reads like a detective story, uncovering new information concerning the allegation of fraud and providing a convincing explanation for the events that drove Kammerer to suicide. It is a careful, fascinating and chilling exposition of crimes against science and humanity and a plea for open-mindedness about past history and present agendas.” —Eva Jablonka, professor at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel-Aviv University, and co-author of The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul.

“Taschwer’s biography is worth reading among others for its skilful and informative account of the history of biology since Lamarck.” —Peter Jungwirth, Wiener Zeitung extra.

“By placing the case of Kammerer in the context of Vienna’s academic antisemitism and nationalism, Klaus Taschwer gives the story a new twist: it now symbolizes the once splendid scientific Vienna’s downfall, through its own fault, into pure mediocrity.” —Michael Hagner, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.