By G. van Iterson Jr., L. E. den Dooren de Jong, A. J. Kluyver (auth.)
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Additional resources for Martinus Willem Beijerinck: His Life and his Work
It is hard to tell whose fault this was, but it is quite certain that a quick-tempered, arbitrary man like BEIJERINCK, who never minced his words, must with his conscious intellectual superiority have been very difficult to get on with. He also found the students very trying, they often gave cause for complaints; one of them was sent down at his request. Owing to the high standard of his publications, lectures, and scientific reports BEIJERINCK was already held in high esteem. This led a far-seeing industrialist J.
The various disagreements BEIJERINCK had with his assistants, the small size of his classes, and the lack of warmth displayed towards him by the students who did come, all this worried BEIJERINCK far more than anybody could have thought. Deep down in his heart he needed sympathy and kindness, and he did not receive either, because hardly anybody suspected him of needing it. To the outer world he was the fossilized scholar, a stranger to human feelings. Yet, it should not be concluded from this that he was not appreciated.
The artistic thread in BEIJERINCK'S mind is also manifest in his often exceptionally fine drawings. The plates he added to his Doctorate thesis on the galls, the drawings in his papers on "Root.. , all give proof of this. It should not be forgotten, however, that his sister Henriette sometimes very ably assisted him in this part of his work. The aesthetic element in BEIJERINCK'S character may perhaps also explain why he was apparently especially attracted by those microbes which display beautiful colours in their cultures.