Trofim Denisovich Lysenko

Trofim Denisovich Lysenko

Birth
Death 20 Nov 1976 (aged 78)
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Memorial ID 112247030 · View Source
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He was a Soviet biologist and agronomist of Ukrainian origin. He rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of the hybridization theories of Russian horticulturist Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin, and adapted them to a pseudoscientific movement termed Lysenkoism. His experimental research in improved crop yields earned the support of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, especially following the famine and loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivization in several regions of the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. In 1940, he became director of the Institute of Genetics within the USSR's Academy of Sciences, and his anti-Mendelian doctrines were further secured in Soviet science and education by the exercise of political influence and power. Scientific dissent from his theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in 1948. Though he remained at his post in the Institute of Genetics until 1965, his influence on Soviet agricultural practice had declined by the 1950s. In 1927, at 29 years of age, working at an agricultural experiment station in Azerbaijan, he embarked on the research that would lead to his 1928 paper on vernalization, which drew wide attention due to its practical consequences for Soviet agriculture. By treating wheat seeds with moisture as well as cold, he induced them to bear a crop when planted in spring. He coined the term "Jarovization" to describe a chilling process he used to make the seeds of winter cereals behave like spring cereals ("Jarovoe"); this term was translated as "vernalization" from the Latin "vernum" for western texts. At the 6th International Congress of Genetics (1932), Vavilov, known as one of the strongest critics of Lysenko, said: "The remarkable discovery recently made by Lysenko of Odessa opens enormous new possibilities to plant breeders and plant geneticists of mastering individual variation. For regions with poor summer rainfall, vernalization was used, which chilled seeds of winter varieties, then planting them in the spring. The technique of summer planting was proposed by Lysenko in 1935 to solve the problem of planting potatoes in the hot, dry regions of southern Russia. Following Stalin's death in 1953, Lysenko retained his position, with the support of the new leader Nikita Khrushchev. However, mainstream scientists re-emerged, and found new willingness within Soviet government leadership to tolerate criticism of Lysenko, the first opportunity since the late 1920s. In 1962 three of the most prominent Soviet physicists, Yakov Borisovich Zel'dovich, Vitaly Ginzburg, and Pyotr Kapitsa, presented a case against Lysenko, proclaiming his work as false science.


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  • Created by: julia&keld
  • Added: 13 Jun 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 112247030
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (29 Sep 1898–20 Nov 1976), Find a Grave Memorial no. 112247030, citing Kuntsevo Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by julia&keld (contributor 46812479) .