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Philosophy - History of Science | The Cold War Politics of Genetic Research - An Introduction to the Lysenko Affair

The Cold War Politics of Genetic Research

An Introduction to the Lysenko Affair

Series: Archimedes, Vol. 32

deJong-Lambert, William

2012, XXII, 186 p.

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  • Written at a level suitable for advanced undergraduate and graduate students with no prior knowledge of the topic
  • Puts the topic in context with related topics in the history of biology
  • Introduces students to the global dimensions of the controversy to highlight areas for future research
This book uses the reaction of a number of biologists in the United States and Great Britain to provide an overview of one of the most important controversies in Twentieth Century biology, the “Lysenko Affair.” The book is written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of history/history of science. It covers a number of topics which are relevant to understanding the sources and dimensions of the Lysenko controversy, including the interwar eugenics movement, the Scopes Trial, the popularity of Lamarckism as a theory of heredity prior to the synthesis of genetics and Natural Selection, and the Cold War. The book focuses particularly on portrayals—both positive and negative—of Lysenko in the popular press in the U.S. and Europe, and thus by extension the relationship between scientists and society. Because the Lysenko controversy attracted a high level of interest among the lay community, it constitutes a useful historical example to consider in context with current topics that have received a similar level of attention, such as Intelligent Design or Climate Change.

Content Level » Upper undergraduate

Keywords » Cold War - Evolution - Genetics - Lysenko - Michurin

Related subjects » Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - History of Science

Table of contents 

Introduction                                                                                                                 

Chapter 1: Mendelist-Morganists and Michurinism                                                  

Chapter 2: Fly Lovers and People Haters                                                                  

Chapter 3: The Eugenics Movement and First Encounters with Soviet Science       

Chapter 4: Vavilov                                                                                                       

Chapter 5: Between World War and Cold War                                                        

Chapter 6: Debunking Lysenko                                                                                 

Chapter 7: The VASKhNIL Conference                                                                   

Chapter 8: Acquired Characteristics                                                                          

Chapter 9: “Apostle Trofim and the Gospel of St. Marx”                                         

Chapter 10: The Spitzer Affair                                                                                  

Chapter 11: “He must’ve realized how stupid it all was…”                                      

Chapter 12: Pigs Wearing Booties Earn Scorn of Red Press                                     

Chapter 13: French Say Chemical Injection May Change Heredity of Ducks          

Chapter 14: “Nikita and I have our difficulties…”                                                   

Conclusion                                                                                                                 

 

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