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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 12, No. 3, April 6th, 1949.




In your issue of February 23, 1949, there is a lengthy article over the name of P.J.A. called "Lysenko v. the World" in which appear a considerable number of statements reflecting on the integrity of distinguished genetecists and by implication, upon persons who teach the science of Genetics along the lines established by Mendel. Morgan and their successors.

We do not propose to enter upon an argument as to the relative merits of Michurin Genetics as opposed to Genetic Theory as Understood in Western countries since the lectures normally given at this College offer ample opportunity for such discussion if it is required.

We wish, however, to record emphatically that we reject the article in question as offensive to sincere students of genetics and also discordant with scientific method in that the experimental methods of Lysenko and his school do not conform with those generally accepted as likely to give a reliable result.

We feel that Vavilov's reported death in gaol in 1943. followed by the decree of August 23, 1948 (which has been translated in full by the Commonwealth Bureau of Plant Breeding and Genetics) are adequate evidence of the kind of fate that awaits opponents of Michurin Genetics, and, as such, arouse only disgust in the minds of fair-thinking persons.

H. B. Fell.

L. R. Richardson,

H. D. Gordon.

J. C. Gibbs.

Patricia M. Ralph.

W. H. Dawbin.

B. M. Bary.

D. A. Crawford.

Zoology and Botany Departments. Victoria University College.