Karl von Frisch Biography
Birthday: November 20, 1886 (Scorpio)
Born In: Vienna, Austria
Karl von Frisch was an Austrian ethologist who was one of the co-recipients of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was known for his investigations of the sensory perceptions of the honey bee and was the first to give an accurate theoretical analysis on the meaning of the waggle dance performed by the bees. A son of the prominent surgeon and urologist, Anton von Frisch, he decided as a young boy to follow in his father’s footsteps. He studied medicine in Vienna under Hans Leo Przibram and Richard Hertwig for a while before realizing that his true interest was in natural sciences. Thus, he switched to zoology and received his doctorate from the University of Vienna in 1910 following which he was appointed as an assistant to Richard Hertwig at the Zoological Institute at the University of Munich. He had a successful academic career over the course of which he performed vital research on the behavioral patterns of the honey bees. The 1930s was a time of political unrest in Germany and he was forced to retire due to the anti-Semitic laws of the Nazi regime as he was unable to prove that he was of Aryan ancestry. He was able to eventually resume his career and retired in 1958 even though he remained active in research for long after.