Science: Lysenko's Legacy

During Stalin's iron rule, he commanded virtually unlimited support for his outlandish agricultural schemes, controlled the direction of research in areas far beyond his competence—and set back Soviet genetics nearly a generation. Indeed, when Izvestia last week belatedly revealed the death of Trofim Denisovich Lysenko at age 78 in a brief back-page announcement, his bitter legacy was still all too apparent. Only now are the biological sciences in the U.S.S.R. finally recovering from what the American geneticist I. Michael Lerner calls "the most bizarre chapter in the history of modern science."

That chapter...

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