Karl Ernst von Baer was an Estonian-born scientist, naturalist, and embryologist who made significant contributions to the fields of embryology and developmental biology. He was born in February 1792 in Piep, Estonia, which was then part of the Russian Empire. He is best known for his work on the development of animal embryos and for formulating what is now known as Baer’s laws of embryology.  

Karl Ernst von Baer in his later years | Source: Wikipedia

Karl Ernst Von Baer’s Banknote 

Karl Ernst von Baer is portrayed on the obverse of the Estonian 2 Krooni banknote issued by the Bank of Estonia in 2007. When held up to a light source, an image of the scientist, along with an electrotype 2, would also reflect on the banknote. The 2007 Estonia 2 Krooni banknote is in shades of blue and gray and comes with a solid security thread with demetallized 2EEK EESTI PANK.  

Estonia 2 Krooni | 2007 | Source: Banknote World

The note’s reverse shows the Tartu University building. In 1810, Karl Ernst von Baer enrolled at the University of Tartu, which was then known as the Imperial University of Dorpat (Dorpat being the German name for Tartu). The university was founded in 1632, was an important center for education and research in the region. 

Illustration of a Human Fetus | Source: AS

Baer studied medicine and natural sciences at the University of Tartu and earned his degree in medicine 1814. After completing his studies, he embarked on a scientific career, eventually gaining recognition for his groundbreaking work in embryology. His time at the University of Tartu played a crucial role in shaping his scientific interests and laying the foundation for his later contributions to the field. 

His Academic Journey

The obverse of the 1993 Germany Federal Republic 50 Deutsche Mark Banknote shows Balthasar Neumann and buildings in Wurzburg in Germany. Karl Ernst von Baer received his training in comparative anatomy at the University of Würzburg with German theologian Ignaz Dollinger who introduced him to a new world including embryology. 

Germany Federal Republic 50 Deutsche Mark | 1993 | Source: Banknote World

The note’s reverse depicts the abbey church of Neresheim, the Wurzburg Residence staircase, and the Holy Cross Chapel of Kitzingen-Etwashausen. 

Studied in Russia 

The obverse of the Russia 50,000 Ruble Banknote from 1995 shows a sculpture of a woman with the Peter and Paul Fortress in the background. The fortress is the original citadel of St. Petersburg. It was built by Peter the Great who also built the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (now Russian Academy of Sciences) where Karl Ernst von Baer joined from 1834 until 1862.  

Russia 50,000 Rubles | 1995 | Source: Banknote World

Evident on the banknote’s reverse are the south rostral column as well as the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange building which is now converted into a naval museum. 

Monument to Karl Ernst Von Baer | Source: AS


thumbnail: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/Voyages_de_la_Commission_scientifique_du_Nord%2C_en_Scandinavie%2C_en_Laponie%2C_au_Spitzberg_et_aux_Fer%C3%B6e_-_no-nb_digibok_2009040211001-118.jpg


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