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'In Our Time': Trofim Lysenko

BBC Radio 4: In Our Time, with Trofim Lysenko

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/

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In 1928, as America heads towards the Wall Street Crash, Joseph Stalin reveals his master plan - nature is to be conquered by science, Russia to be made brutally, glitteringly modern and the world transformed by communist endeavour.

Into the heart of this vision stepped Trofim Lysenko, a self-taught geneticist who promised to turn Russian wasteland into a grain-laden Garden of Eden.

image descriptionToday, Lysenko is a byword for fraud but in Stalin's Russia his ideas became law. They reveal a world of science distorted by ideology, where ideas were literally a matter of life and death. To disagree with Lysenko risked the gulag and yet he damaged, perhaps irreparably, the Soviet Union's capacity to fight and win the Cold War.

Contributors

Robert Service, Professor of Russian History at the University of Oxford

Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London

Catherine Merridale, Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London


Link to download: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/iot/iot_20080605-1130.mp3

Link to download off site: http://www.richarddawkins.net/audio/iot_20080605-1130.mp3

TAGGED: --, BIOLOGY


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