The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko

The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko

The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko

The Rise and Fall of T. D. Lysenko

Excerpt

This book consists of three parts. The first two were written in 1961-1962 and augmented in 1963-1964; the third was written in 1966-1967. Each part, for various reasons, differs from the others in syle and method of analysis of the facts. In the first place, the existing situations in science described in each section differed, and the problems around which the debate was carried on were changing, even though genetics remained the center of attention. In the second place, the different parts of the book were written under different conditions. In 1961-1962 Lysenkoism still occupied a dominating position in the biological and agricultural sciences and was fully supported by the higher authorities. Criticism of its positions was actually banned in the press and was mercilessly eradicated by all means of press control. By 1966 Lysenkoism, as such, had already disappeared from Soviet science, not having survived even one year of open discussion. The first parts of the book therefore are active, aggressive, and polemical in character, while the concluding part is by and large descriptive, especially when dealing with the events after October, 1964.

And, finally, I appear in different capacities in each of the three parts: in the first as historian; in the second as an onlooker; and in the third as participant, since the first version of the manuscript itself became, after 1962, one of the elements of the debate, and developed in the course of it. The manuscript was used as ammunition, and hundreds of men attempted to make that ammunition effective.

Many scientists have aided me greatly, particularly the following comrades, who supported me from the very beginning of my work and who helped to collect and analyze the factual material. Although many of them are famous scientists, I list them without their degrees or positions since, in the struggle for the triumph of truth which we all carried on for many . . .

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