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“… the marvelous freedom to research what one finds interesting” Theodor Boveri at the Naples Zoological Station

Groeben, Christiane
Marine genomics 2019
animals, death, research equipment, spring, working conditions, zoologists
In January 1888, shortly after his Habilitation (Nov. 1887), Theodor Boveri came for the first time as guest investigator to the Naples Zoological Station. The last of his eight research stays took place in spring 1914, the year before his untimely death in 1915. The Naples Station was therefore a constant presence in all his scientific life. At least 20 of his publications are based on research done at Naples.In this paper, I will try to outline the unique working conditions that Boveri found at Naples. By 1888, the Naples Station was already an expanding, smoothly functioning organism. Excellent animal supply and research equipment, the constant presence of an international scientific community and the beauties of Mediterranean nature and European culture fostered a creative atmosphere that gave particular relevance to a research stay at Naples. In 1910, Boveri defined the Naples Station a “permanent international congress of zoologists”. Boveri's “Naples experience” will be described and some light will also be shed on Boveri's role in keeping the memory of Anton Dohrn alive.