Paul Kammerer

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Kammerer, Paul


Born Aug. 17, 1880, in Vienna; died there Sept. 23, 1926. Austrian zoologist.

Kammerer graduated from the University of Vienna in 1904 and taught a course there in experimental morphology. From 1902 to 1923 he was a member of the staff of the Institute of Experimental Biology (of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), which he helped organize. He attempted to demonstrate experimentally the inheritance of acquired traits and to prove Lamarckism. However, his failure to observe the strict requirements of such experiments evoked criticism of many of his works by other researchers. Because of his pacifist, atheistic, and antiracist views, Kammerer was persecuted by the chauvinist-minded German scientists. He committed suicide after an accusation that he falsified the results of his experiments.


Neuvererbung oder Vererbung erworbener Eigenschaften. Stuttgart, 1925.
In Russian translation:
Obshchaia biologiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1925.
Pol, razmnozhenie i plodovitosf: Biologiia vosproizvedeniia. Leningrad, 1927.
Zagadka nasledstvennosti: Osnovy obshchei teorii nasledstvennosti Leningrad, 1927.


Gaisinovich, A. E. “U istokov sovetskoi genetiki: I. Bor’ba s lamarkizmom (1922–1927).” Genetika, 1968, no. 6.
Bliakher, L. Ia. Problema nasledovaniia priobretennykh priznakov. Moscow, 1971. Chapter 12.


References in periodicals archive ?
Biologist Paul Kammerer, in his book 'The Law of Seriality,' gave the following example among so many he collected for over 20 years:
Even before Lysenko, in the 1920s, the German biologist Paul Kammerer and a slew of less-familiar Russian biologists promoted the idea of acquired characteristics as a sort of Marxist eugenics.
The book charts the work of Lysenko as well as other Russian scientists working in the field at the same time, especially Paul Kammerer, and touches on ideas such as the epigenetic effects of famine in Russia over several generations.
But as these faux documents trace the arduous quest for scientific "truth"--its twists and dead ends, successes and failures, the intellectual, psychological, emotional, and even physical toll it exacts (as Koestler demonstrated regarding biologist Paul Kammerer in The Case of the Midwife Toad)--they shape thrilling adventures.
A new study into the research of the renowned Lamarckian experimentalist Paul Kammerer may help to end the controversy which has engulfed his research for almost a century.
El biologo austriaco Paul Kammerer (1880-1926) quiso demostrar que las caracteristicas que un animal adquiere a lo largo de su vida pueden heredarse, como sostenia el lamarckismo.