Weismann, August Friedrich Leopold


Weismann (1834–1914), a German zoologist who made important conceptual contributions to evolutionary theory and to heredity theory.

Keywords: heredity; germline; darwinism; chromosome; variation

Figure 1.

Portrait of August Weismann. Reproduced by permission of the Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt‐Universität zu Berlin.

Figure 2.

Scheme of the behaviour of idants during various stages of germ cell development in Ascaris megalocephala univalens. I: both idants of the ancestral germ cell (Ukz) are composed of ids; II: in the mother germ cell (Mkz) they are double; III: after the first reduction division the daughter germ cell (Tkz) contains two identical ids; IV: after the second reduction division the germ cell (Kz) contains only one id. From Weismann (1892).


Further Reading

Churchill FB (1985) Weismann's continuity of the germ‐plasm in historical perspective. Freiburger Universitätsblätter 24: 107–124.

Gillispie CC (ed.) (1970–1980) Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Stanford PK (2005) August Weismann's theory of the germ‐plasm and the problem of unconceived alternatives. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27: 163–199.

Weismann A (1891–1892) Essays upon heredity and kindred biological problems, 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Weismann A (1892) Aufsätze über Vererbung und verwandte biologische Fragen. Jena: Gustav Fischer.

Weismann A (1892) Das Keimplasma. Eine Theorie der Vererbung. Jena: Gustav Fischer.

Weismann A (1902) Vorträge über Deszendenztheorie, gehalten an der Universität zu Freiburg/Br, 2 vols. Jena: Gustav Fischer.

Weismann A (1999) In: Churchill FB and Risler H (eds) Selected Letters and Documents, 2 vols. Freiburg: Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg.

Weismann A (2003) The Evolution Theory, 2 vols. Bristol: Thoemmes.

Weismann A (2003) The Germ‐plasm: A Theory of Heredity. Bristol: Thoemmes.

Winther RG (2001) August Weismann on germ‐plasm variation. Journal of the history of biology 34: 517–555.

Zirnstein G (2001) August Weismann (1834–1914). In: Jahn I and Schmitt M (Hrsg.) Darwin & Co., vol. I. pp. 411–433. München: Beck.

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How to Cite close
Dröscher, Ariane(Apr 2008) Weismann, August Friedrich Leopold. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002448]