Scientific Genealogy

as compiled by R. Daniel Johnson and J. Christopher Ball


We trace the genealogy of our families so that we can develop a broader understanding of the trials and triumphs of our ancestors, through which we can gain an appreciation for our own experiences.  Reflections on the paths walked by those who came before us instill in us a place and meaning for our present, and, in some ways, our future.  Placing our past in the proper historical context can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment in our predecessors, and can also lead us onward to our own great deeds.  The similar can be said when we establish our scientific heritage.  A glimpse of the efforts of those who have influenced our research direction yields both an idea of the marvelous science of which we are capable, but also can promote a model for what it means to be a scientist in general.

In the scientific lineage of the Bachas group, a wealth of interesting observations can be made.  First, is that there appears to be a thread that combines the work done in the 15th century with what we are doing today.  Research in the early part of the genealogy was primarily focused on medical application and understanding (which is expected since the majority of early ancestors were M.D.s).  There are branches that contain those whose work was primarily devoted to the science of apothecaries as well.  It appears that our research can be traced back through three prevalent linesóthe French lines of the 17th and 18th century, and the Italian/German line of the Renaissance era (15th and 16th centuries) and a Dutch/British line. In fact, not until the early/mid 20th century does our line come to the United States.  This fact is probably not uncommon, but, nevertheless, it is interesting to point out.  As we focus on individuals, however, we find some interesting characters in our lineageó from the primary doctor of Henry VIII, to the discoverer of Fallopian tubes, to participants in the French Revolution, to the "Father of Modern Chemistry", Lavoisier.  An important point about Lavoisier is that he never formally was the mentor of anyone, in the structured sense we think of today, however, the mentor-like-relationship and influence was evident with a number of "chymists" including one in our own line.  Finally, as the biographies of some of these scientists are read, one will readily see that these figures were not only devoted to science but to other disciplines including philosophy, poetry, and religion.  I suppose this is fitting due to our Renaissance era influence and it probably  should be a call for us not to become too compartmentalized in our own lives.

Leonidas G. Bachas Scientific Genealogy Tree