17 September] 1898 – 20 November 1976) was a Soviet agronomist and biologist.
As a student Lysenko found himself interested in agriculture, where he worked on a few different projects, one involving the effects of temperature variation on the life-cycle of plants.
This later led him to consider how he might use this work to convert winter wheat into spring wheat.
He named the process "jarovization" in Russian, and later translated it as "vernalization".
Lysenko was a strong proponent of soft inheritance and rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of pseudoscientific ideas termed Lysenkoism.
His experimental research in improved crop yields earned him the support of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, especially following the famine and loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivization in several regions of the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.
In 1940, Lysenko became director of the Institute of Genetics within the USSR's Academy of Sciences, and the exercise of political influence and power further secured his anti-Mendelian doctrines in Soviet science and education.
Soviet scientists who refused to renounce genetics were dismissed from their posts and left destitute.
Hundreds if not thousands of others were imprisoned.
Several were sentenced to death as enemies of the state, including the botanist Nikolai Vavilov.
Scientific dissent from Lysenko's theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in the Soviet Union in 1948.
Though Lysenko remained at his post in the Institute of Genetics until 1965, his influence on Soviet agricultural practice had declined after the death of Stalin in 1953.