Carl A. C. Vogt
5 July 1817 Giessen, Hesse - 5 May 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland
Carl Vogt is admittedly not a central figure of hydrozoan systematics, however, his outstanding personality and his absolutely stupendous biography astonish still today.
Although his scientific work is somewhat eclipsed by his political activity, he was a famous biologist in his time. The only hydrozoan species he described and whose name is still in use is the siphonophore:
Halistemma rubrum (Vogt, 1852)
Hydrozoan taxa honouring Vogt:
Genus Vogtia Koelliker, 1853 [still in use]
Abyla vogtii Huxley, 1859 [synonym of Enneagonum hyalinum Quoy & Gaimard, 1827]
1817 born in Giessen as son of the liberal democratic professor Philipp Friedrich Wilhelm Vogt (1787-1861) and his wife Louise Follen. The parents must emigrate to Switzerland in 1834 for political reasons, Carl remains in in the Grand Duchy of Hesse.
1833 studies of medicine, in Giessen
1834 changes to chemistry department headed by Justus Liebig
1835 Vogt is member of the student fraternity Corps Palatia which is persecuted by the government due to its political activities. He helps a friend to escape the political police and as a consequence Vogt himself has to leave the Grand Duchy of Hesse too. He joins his family in Bern (Switzerland) where he continues his studies of medicine.
1839 Doctoral dissertation on the anatomy of amphibians
1839-1845 research assistant of Louis Agassiz in the Principality of Neuchâtel (at that time not yet a canton of Switzerland but a Prussian possession). Vogt studies the development of fishes and amphibians and discovers in 1842 apoptosis, the programmed cell death.
1845 Studies of marine invertebrates in Paris and Nice, he meets the anarchist Michail Bakunin and Karl Marx (later they fell out with each other as Marx accused him - perhaps correctly - of being an agent of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte and the Franch state).
1847 Through recommendations by Justus Liebig and Alexander von Humboldt he becomes professor for zoology in Giessen, which was still ruled by the Grand Duke of Hesse. He joins a "Democratic Association" and publishes a republican newspaper, thus positioning him prominently in opposition to the aristocratic rulers of his country.
1848 After the democratic revolution of 1848, he becomes a member of the national assembly in Frankfurt (the first German parliament), where he belonged to the radical-democratic fraction. Due to his political activities, he is looses his professorship and he has to emigrate to Switzerland again.
1852 becomes professor for geology in Geneva
1856 member of the delegation which negotiated the secession of the Principality of Neuchâtel from Prussia and its integration into the Swiss Confederation
1861 acquires Swiss citizenship, gets member of the city parliament and later member of the Swiss Nationalrat (house of representatives)
1872 professor for zoology in Geneva, Switzerland
1874 first rector of the newly reformed university of Geneva
1895 dies in Geneva
Geneva honoured Carl Vogt by naming a boulevard (Boulevard Carl-Vogt) after him and by erecting a memorial bust in the university park.
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this page is part of the Hydrozoa Directory ©Peter Schuchert