Books et al.History of Science

Rethinking Lysenko's legacy

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Science  22 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6284, pp. 421
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5314

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Summary

In Lysenko's Ghost, historian Loren Graham explores the latest attempts to restore the legacy of the Ukrainian agronomist Trofim Lysenko, who spearheaded a campaign to reject Mendelian genetics in favor of a pseudoscientific theory of environmentally induced heredity in the USSR from the late 1920s to the mid-1960s. Today, in the midst of a period of high nationalist and anti-Western sentiments, it seems that a quirky coalition of Russian right wingers, Stalinists, a few qualified scientists,  and even the Orthodox Church is now claiming that Lysenko has been vindicated by the latest findings in molecular epigenetics.