Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lysenkoism! It's not just for Soviets anymore!

In a happy synchronicity of bloggy goodness today, right after posting about BushCo's ongoing harassment of American scientists, I not only learned the fabulous term (new to me) of Lysenkoism from Cathy from Canada, but also that Reps Waxman and Gordon are fighting hard to stop it.

Trofim Lysenko speaking at the Kremlin in 1935; at the back left to right are Stanislav Kosior, Anastas Mikoyan, Andrei Andreev and Joseph Stalin
Trofim Lysenko speaking at the Kremlin in 1935;
at the back left to right are Stanislav Kosior, Anastas Mikoyan,
Andrei Andreev and Joseph Stalin

Lysenkoism was a campaign against genetics and geneticists which happened in the Soviet Union from the middle of the 1930s to the middle of the 1960s, centered around the figure of Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. In a broader context, Lysenkoism is often invoked to imply the overt subversion of science by political forces.

Read more about Lysenkoism at the Wikipedia.
Thank you greatly to Cathy for introducing me to the term Lysenkoism; it rockets right up to the top of my political zeitgeist list, just a hair above Quisling.

Reps Henry Waxman and Bart Gordon are no friends of Lysenkoism, and back in February they introduced H.R. 839, legislation to protect federal science from political interference and restore scientific integrity to research and policy making. The bill includes bars on manipulating science, suppressing research, and using political litmus tests to appoint members of scientific advisory committees. You can read the Bill Summary here, and the Bill Text here. For a solid summary of the state of American Lysenkoism, read Waxman's Feb 16 statement, here. For a gritty, detailed look at American Lysenkoism in action, see Waxman's site, Politics & Science.

Let's take a step back, review, and ask the big question: Lysenkoism, a state-funded Czarina of Propaganda, fake news for domestic consumption...

America, does anyone have the memory/education/apprehension to grasp how much it looks like Stalinist Russia around here? Do you? Does anyone other than Waxman and Gordon care?

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