Lysenkoism


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Lysenkoism

[lī′seŋ·kō‚iz·əm]
(biology)
A pseudoscientific theory that flourished in the Soviet Union from the early 1930s to the mid-1960s; advocated by T. D. Lysenko, who called it agrobiology, it was claimed to be a revolutionary fusion of agronomy and biological science, and it opposed traditional biology and the gene concept but supported the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
References in periodicals archive ?
When a President starts appointing scientists as he does campaign staffers, we risk an era of Lysenkoism in America--when Soviet citizens were told (among other things) that acquired traits can be inherited.
Even someone like Medawar and his work, troubled as it was by ideology and Lysenkoism, did do real work.
More than one scientist has raised a disturbing question--whether a spirit of lysenkoism may be developing in America today--the philosophy that perverted and destroyed the science of genetics in Russia and even infiltrated all of that nation's agricultural sciences.
The positivist-minded will see any tainting of the constitutive by the contextual as bad science; such episodes as Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union or the Nazi's dismissal of the theory of relativity as "Jewish Physics" can make this look pretty reasonable.
As Dik[ddot{o}]tter briefly notes, Marxist criticism of the class-based nature of eugenics discourse meant that discussions of genetic inheritance and birth defects were more likely to be framed by Lysenkoism in the 1950s and 1960s.
In the written version of his comments, Hirsch ridiculed "mainstream educational research," as found in "journals such as the Educational Researcher," explicitly stating, "This is a situation that is reminiscent of what happened to biology in the Soviet Union under the domination of Lysenkoism, which is a theory that bears similarities to constructivism.
As philosopher Paul Boghossian remarks in a thoughtful consideration of the Sokol hoax, that way leads to completely socially determined science and to such destructive madness as Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union and "Aryan science" in Germany.
This was the period during which the Russian authoritarian genetic dogma, Lysenkoism, was imposed and prevailed in China, adversely affecting biological sciences in general, and, most severely, those engaged in agriculturally related genetic research.
Scientists initially regarded Lysenkoism as a passing fad, but the theory reigned for several decades, with disastrous consequences for the practice of science in the Soviet Union.
The less so, since the Nazi racial doctrines were pseudo-scientific, as was Stalin's rejection of biological genetics in favor of Lysenkoism.
Though the ban was brief and Lysenkoism, as a leading biological doctrine, was eventually deposed in favour of Mendelism, Lysenkoism remains a paradigmatic example of pernicious political interference in science.