Essays on Science and SocietyPORTRAITS OF SCIENCE

From the Modern Synthesis to Lysenkoism, and Back?

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Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 55-56
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068355

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Summary

The doctrines of the Lamarckian Trofim Lysenko became official dogma in the Soviet Union, putting an end to a very promising development in Soviet genetics and evolutionary biology. The influence of Lysenkoism on the scientific development in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) remained minimal, despite efforts to promote it. This essay by Hossfeld and Olsson tells the story of one of the leading Lysenkoists in the GDR, Georg Schneider, and of the resistance against this form of pseudoscience.