In 1928, rural agronomist Trofim Lysenko pompously announced the discovery of a new agricultural technology. In fact, the vernalization he proposed, i.e., cooling seeds before sowing, was not a novelty. However, the propaganda noise produced by Lysenko himself did its job. The “nugget” not only became a Stalin and Khrushchev’s favorite but also headed the agricultural academy. The ignorance of the chief agricultural scientist was beyond all conceivable limits. He blindly believed in Lamarck’s obsolete theory of the preservation of acquired characteristics, and no examples, such as Jewish boys who are born uncircumcised and girls who are born virgins rather than little women could not shake this belief. Anyway, Lysenko did not take part in any scientific disputes: complaints were practiced instead of discussions. At the suggestion of quasi-scientist Lysenko, genetics was called “the whore of imperialism” in the USSR, while world-renowned geneticist Nikolay Vavilov was killed in prison. The notorious session of the Agricultural Academy in 1948 attached the label of “bourgeois pseudoscience” on genetics and called scientists “Weismanists-Mendelists-Morganists” after the luminaries and founders of science. In 1949, Trofim Denisovich’s diligence was rewarded with the Stalin Prize. Only after the removal of Khrushchev who Lysenko was cheating on too, genetics began to slowly raise from its knees in our country. Rewarding an entire group of geneticists with the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor became a real step in rehabilitating science and recognizing its usefulness. Sergey Gershenzon, Nikolay Dubinin, Valentin Kirpichnikov, Iosif Rappoport, Yury Polyansky, Vladimir Strunnikov, and Armen Takhtadzhyan were awarded a distinguished title through a decree as of October 16, 1990. They were these scientists specifically to make a special contribution to the preservation and development of persecuted science. They were these scientists specifically to fight against Lysenko followers under a threat of losing their freedom and even their lives.
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