Lysenkoism at OSU?

By Jasper, William F. | The New American, April 4, 2011 | Go to article overview

Lysenkoism at OSU?


Jasper, William F., The New American


In the annals of politicized science, Trofim Lysenko provides a supreme example of ignorance and ignominy wedded to power. Lysenko was a two-bit horticulturist who rose to great prominence in the Soviet Union under dictator/mass murderer Joseph Stalin, becoming director of the Soviet Academy of Sciences' Institute of Genetics. Subjugating science to communist ideology and personal whim, Lysenko succeeded in outlawing biological research that was not in accord with his crackpot notions of genetics. And Lysenko's corollary was the extension of Stalin's infamous purges to the ranks of Russian scientists, many of whom were denounced, demoted, exiled, jailed, tortured--or even executed. After all, these dangerous folks were guilty of the serious thought crime of "deviationism": dissenting from the glorious truths of "the people's science," as defined by the Party and Lysenko.

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Lysenkoism, obviously, resulted in deep personal tragedy for the scientists directly affected, but it spelled even larger tragedy for Russian science in general and greatly exacerbated the famines caused by Stalin's agricultural collectivization policies.

The charge of "Lysenkoism" is the ultimate opprobrium that can be leveled at a scientific institution or organization, suggesting scientists are being destroyed for "deviating" from the ideological path prescribed by the political powers that be. Has Lysenkoism infected Oregon State University? If charges by Dr. Arthur Robinson turn out to be substantiated, yes.

Dr. Robinson is a distinguished scientist: Ph.D. in chemistry, former professor at the University of California San Diego; former president and research professor at the Linus Pauling Institute; current president and research professor at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine; publisher of the Access to Energy newsletter; and author of many scientific research papers. He also was a recent candidate for Oregon's 4th Congressional District, which has been the domain of uber liberal-left Democrat Rep. Peter DeFazio since 1987. Last November Robinson nearly pulled off what many thought impossible, turning in a stunningly close race (54.5 to 43.6 percent) in what has heretofore been considered a "safe" district for DeFazio. In fact, despite being outspent, many believe Robinson might have won, save for a desperate smear campaign by DeFazio and his media allies in the closing days of the campaign.

Dr. Robinson recently announced that he is going to run against DeFazio again in 2012. Around the same time, he dropped another bomb: In a column he authored for World Net Daily, Robinson charged that three of his adult children, who are in the Ph. …

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