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The Writings of Professor Robert M. Young

'Getting Started on Lysenkoism' 99k.

Lysenko was a Soviet agricultural specialist who claimed that he could shape nature more or less at will. His work became notorious in the West, because he claimed that modern genetics was nonsense and that he could produce greatly increased crop yields by using techniques which were not accepted by orthodox scientists. The matter came to a head when Stalin backed him at a major conference in 1948. Lysenko's opponents were persecuted before and after that date, modern genetics was banned in the Soviet Union, and Western Marxist scientists were pilloried for kowtowing to ideological distortions of putatively objective science. I always thought that there was much more to this story than was on offer from the competing ideologues, and as someone who wanted to claim that science is ideological, I had to address this crucial case. This essay is my attempt to do so. I was never going to become a deep scholar on the topic, since I don't read Russian, but I dug as deeply as I could and laid out my sources and findings in Radical Science Journal No. 6/7: 81-105, 1978.


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The Human Nature Review
Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

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