Karl Ernst Von Baer

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    SCIENCE has sustained a great loss by the death of Dr. Karl Ernst von Baer, the eminent biologist; he died at Dorpat on November 29, in his eighty-fifth year. Von Baer was born in Esthonia on February 29, 1792, and while yet at the gymnasium became an earnest student of botany. He studied medicine at Dorpat in 1810–14, whence he proceeded to Vienna for the study of clinical medicine, to Würzburg, where he gave special attention to comparative anatomy, and to Berlin, where he studied magnetism, electricity, crystallography, and geology. In 1817 he went to Konigsberg as prosector to Prof. Burdach, and two years later he became professor of zoology at the same university. In 1826 he succeeded Burdach in the chair of anatomy, accepted an invitation in 1829 from the St. Petersburg Academy, but returned to Konigsberg the following year. A few years later, in 1834 he was again invited to St. Petersburg, where he became one of the most active members not only of the Academy, but also of the Geographical and Economical Societies. Von Baer's writings, marked by philosophic depth, are, on account of their orderly and clear exposition, as attractive as they are generally intelligible. The subject of the origin and development of organic bodies, which had special attractions for him, he did much to clear up. The foundation of his eminence he laid in Königsberg, where he published in 1827 his “Briefe über die Enstehung des Eies,” which was soon followed by the important works “Entwickelungsgeschichte der Thiere,” and “Geschichte der Entwickelung der Fische.” These works, which are yet of great value, have earned for their author the title of Father of Comparative Embryology.

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    Karl Ernst Von Baer . Nature 15, 138–139 (1876) doi:10.1038/015138c0

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