Columbia Magazine is publishing a series of "Living Legacies" on great moments and great figures in Columbia's intellectual, scientific and educational history. These essays, written by scholars of great distinction, focus on special developments that should be celebrated not just as a part of local history, but also recognizing their national and international significance. In this three-part installment Eric R. Kandel, University Professor of physiology and cell biology, psychiatry and bio-chemical and molecular biology, and Darcy B. Kelley, professor of biological sciences, look at biologist and zoologist Thomas Hunt Morgan and his legacy.
Installments of this series are published monthly in Columbia Magazine.
In the first section of the essay, Kandel writes about "Thomas Hunt Morgan at Columbia University, Genes, Chromosomes and the Origins of Modern Biology." Morgan's finding about genes and their location on chromosomes helped transform biology into an experimental science and made it possible to address a series of questions regarding the function and structure of genes.
The second section of the essay, "An American Century of Biology," written by Kandel, highlights the accomplishments of a core group of scientists responsible for carrying Morgan's legacy into the present. The core group profiled includes Hermann J. Muller, George Beadle, E.B. Lewis, Theodosius Dobzhanksy and Joshua Lederberg.
The final section, entitled "Genetics, Biology and the Mysteries of the Mind," written by Kandel and Kelley, focuses on genetics to illustrate how biology has matured as a science during the 20th century and highlights the distinctive role Columbia has played at key points in this process.
Other essays in the Living Legacies Series Include: