The Botanist Who Defied Stalin

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Nikolai Vavilov was one of Russia’s leading experts on plant genetics, recognised worldwide for his work in botany. This passion for plants initially drew him to Trofim Lysenko, an “average man” who claimed to be able to double Russia’s crop yields; however, after discovering that Lysenko’s results could not be replicated, he turned on him. Vavilov’s refusal to renounce “western” Mendelian genetics and opposition to the Stalin-appointed Lysenko landed him in prison in a sham investigation, where he would die of systematic malnutrition during World War II. Read full article here

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