Trofim Denisovich Lysenko (September 29th 1898 – November 20th 1976 was a biologist and agronomist who was director of Soviet biology under Joseph Stalin. Lysenko rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of the hybridisation theories of Russian horticulturalist Ivan Vladimirov Michurin and adopted them into a powerful political scientific movement termed Lysenkoism. His unorthodox experimental research in improved crop yields earned the support of Soviet leadership, especially following the famine and loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivisation in several regions of the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. In 1940 he became director of the Institute of Genetics within the USSR's Academy of Sciences and Lysenko's anti-Mendelian doctrines were further secured in Soviet science and education by the exercise of political influence and power. Scientific dissent from Lysenko's theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in 1948, and for the next several years opponents were purged from held positions, and many imprisoned. Lysenko's work was officially discredited in the Soviet Union in 1964, leading to a renewed emphasis there to re-institute Mendelian genetics and orthodox science.
Though Lysenko remained at his post in the Institute of Genetics until 1965, his influence on Soviet agricultural practice declined by the 1950s. The Soviet Union quietly abandoned Lysenko's agricultural practices in favor of modern agricultural practices after the crop yields he promised failed to materialize. Today much of Lysenko's agricultural experimentation and research is largely viewed as fraudulent.