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A new perspective on Lysenko?

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Zhores Medvedev and Mark Popovsky have both drawn attention to the positive response on the part of the scientific community to the early work of Lysenko on the phasic development of plants. This aspect of the Lysenko Affair is explored more fully in this paper. Vavilov's sponsorship of Lysenko is set in the intellectual context of plant physiology circa 1930, and in the political climate of the pressing needs of Russian agriculture at that time. Lysenko's rise was also favoured by the Marxist philosophy of science then current in which the traditional distinction between basic and applied science was discarded and an opposition between proletarian and bourgeois science introduced. It is claimed that an understanding of the intellectual history must lie at the core of a social history of the Lysenko Affair if it is to prove adequate.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: NAVF's Utredningsinstitutt, Wergelandsveien 15, Oslo 1, Norway

Publication date: 1985-05-01

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