Karl von Frisch (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Frisch was awarded the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his achievements in the relatively new science of ethology, which is the study of animal behavior. His studies of the social life of bees and the sensory capabilities of fish are particularly significant.
Karl von Frisch was born on November 20, 1886, in Vienna, Austria, the youngest of four boys. His father, Anton, was the head of surgery at the Vienna General Polyclinic. Since his brothers were away at school when Frisch was very young, he amused himself with specimens for a small zoo that he had collected at his family’s summer home in Brunnwinkl on Lake Wolfgang. Even as a small child, he enjoyed observing his animals and recording their behavior. In the beginning, Frisch was tutored at home. For the last year of junior school, he was sent to a convent school, where he demonstrated no aptitude for either languages or mathematics. Although he was clearly not interested in school, Frisch was fascinated by his insect collection, to which he added all of his life.
In 1905, Frisch was enrolled as a student of medicine at the University of Vienna, primarily because his father believed that medicine offered him a more assured future than did zoology. Since the first two years of medical school were devoted to the natural sciences, he applied himself to his studies with enthusiasm. His favorite lectures were the...
(The entire section is 1995 words.)
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