The New Lysenkoism

  • by: |
  • 03/05/2006

Comrade Goldberg recants? Not.

The effort to regard any research conducted with industry support as defacto discredited, regardless of scientific principles, is the new Lysenkoism and will have the same consequences. Lysenkoism justified and rationalized all science that comported with government run farms and factories in the Soviet Union and regarded any other science as conducted to sustain capitalism. It lead to massive human suffering. Now we are in a time and place where any science not conducted by academics free of any funding save for government support (no bias there of course!) or the Ford or Rockefeller Foundation is considered propaganda.

Respected researchers don’t have the propaganda machine working on their behalf. Note the striking parallels between how Lysenko, who’s untested theories about agriculture and his attacks on the bourgeois research of geneticists, were trumpted by The Party and today where honest researchers are attacked by The Journals for carrying out research according to strict canons of study.

Today what passes for science from the new Lysenkoists boils down to surveys (the negative impact of DTC ads) or data dredging (demonstrating that millions likely suffered from Vioxx rather than conducting the careful pharmacogenomic research to establish biological causality) that can be easily conducted and quickly published, digested by the media, and regurgitated by politicians. Rarely is the question asked: have they proved their theories using the scientific method? Have they demonstrated that all research conducted with or by industry is flawed or biased by proving that the results of such research — new medicines, technologies, biological understanding of disease mechanisms — do not exist? Does that mean because Pasteur received funding from wine and beer companies in France that his theories about bacteria and fermentation are to be discredited?


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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