Trofim Lysenko Facts

Trofim Lysenko Facts
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (29 September 29, 1898 to 20 November 1976) was a Soviet biologist and agronomist. Lysenko led a pseudoscience movement which rejected Mendelian genetics.
Interesting Trofim Lysenko Facts:
Lysenko was born in what is now Poltava Oblast, Ukraine.
He attended the Kiev Agricultural Institute.
In 1927 he conducted experiments at an agricultural station in Azerbaijan.
In 1928 he published a paper on vernalization which treats wheat seeds with moisture and cold to speed sprouting in the spring.
Lysenko claimed that he had achieved a massive increase in crop yields.
He further claimed, incorrectly, that the offspring of vernalized plants would inherit the advantages of vernalization and would flower early.
Severe cold and lack of snow had destroyed the winter wheat crop.
The forced collectivization policies of Josef Stalin had led to further loss of productivity and widespread famine.
The Soviet government was interested in anything that would improve agricultural productivity and by the 1920s were strongly supporting Lysenko.
Unfortunately the yields were overstated and were based on a very small sample.
For decades, Lysenko was able to use his political power to silence his critics and eliminate his opponents.
After the death of Josef Stalin in 1953, science was seen less as a political tool and became freer to return to proven scientific theories and methods.
In 1963 three Soviet physicists charged that Lysenko's work was poor science.
In 1964 Andrei Sakharov reported to the General Assembly of the Academy of Sciences that Lysenko was" responsible for the backwardness of Soviet biology and of genetics in particular, for the dissemination of pseudo-scientific views....and for the defamation, firing, arrest and even death of many genuine scientists."
The following year Lysenko was fired as director of the Institute of Genetics at the Academy of Sciences
An investigation revealed he was a fraud and he was disgraced.


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