Lysenko TrofimDenisovich

Lysenko TrofimDenisovich

(1898-1976) Russian plant breeder who claimed that plant behaviour and crop yields could be altered by treating seeds with changes of temperature, moisture levels etc. and, crucially, that these acquired characteristics could be inherited. He gained enormous influence over Soviet science under the patronage of STALIN, since the Soviet doctrine of the perfectability of the ‘new Soviet man’ favoured the evolutionary perspective of LAMARCK, which Lysenko followed. His views, however, were in direct opposition to the developing science of plant genetics in the West, and effectively destroyed Soviet developments in this area until his fall from favour along with Khrushchev in 1965. Lysenkoism is often cited as the classic example of the need to keep politics out of science, and was used during the COLD WAR as a convenient piece of anti-Soviet propaganda.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000