Schleiden, Matthias Jakob

Schleiden, Matthias Jakob

(mätē`äs yä`kôp shlī`dən), 1804–81, German botanist. He was professor at the universities of Jena (1839–63) and Dorpat (1863–64). With Theodor Schwann, he is credited with establishing the foundations of the cell theory. Schleiden's paper Beiträge zur Phytogenesis (1838), although mistaken in some aspects, recognized the significance of the nucleus in the propagation of cells.
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Schleiden, Matthias Jakob

 

Born Apr. 5,1804, in Hamburg; died June 23, 1881, in Frankfurt. German botanist and public figure.

Schleiden graduated from the University of Heidelberg in 1827. He was a professor of botany at the University of Jena between 1839 and 1862, and the director of the botanical gardens there from 1850. In 1863–64 he was a professor of anthropology at the University of Dorpat (present-day Tartu).

Schleiden, a reformer of contemporary botany, used the inductive method to criticize the philosophy of natural science and narrowly systematic methods in The Fundamentals of Scientific Botany (1842–43). His main works deal with plant anatomy and embryology. Schleiden substantiated the ontogenetic approach to the study of plant morphology and played an important role in the development of cell theory. He was one of the predecessors and advocates of Darwinism. In individual experiments he made a number of errors, such as his conception of the neogenesis of cells from structureless substances or of the development of the embryo from the pollen tube. Schleiden was the author of popular science books, which have been translated into Russian, and of collections of poetry.

WORKS

Grundzüge der wissenschaftlichen Botanik, 4th ed. Leipzig, 1861.

REFERENCE

Ritter, G. “Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1804–1881).” Estestvoznanie i geografiia, 1905, no. 2.

D. V. LEBEDEV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.