Skip to main content

Soviet genetics, 1934-1980


  • How to

A chronological sequence of correspondence, drafts, notes and publications, concentrated particularly on the 1940s and 1950s when Darlington was one of the central figures in Britain attacking the theories and influence of Lysenko, and more generally the interference of ideology and politics in Russian science. Darlington wrote extensively and forcefully on the subject, as well as giving broadcast talks or contributions to discussions and reviewing publications by others.

The publishing history of some of his articles was far from smooth (MS. Darlington c. 25/D.77-78) and some of his suggestions were rejected (MS. Darlington c. 25/D.76). Darlington lived long enough to see the rehabilitation of his friend Vavilov and to write an obituary of Lysenko (MS. Darlington c. 26/D.114-116).

Darlington, for all his tilting at officialdom and despite his personal friendships with several participants in the debate, such as J.S. Huxley and J.B.S. Haldane, took the other view as a geneticist.


  • Creation: 1934-1980

Language of Materials

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Darlington c. 25-26/D.72-116

Related Materials

The 'background material' at MS. Darlington c. 27/D.117-121 and MS. Darlington b. 1/D.122 is of interest both for the presence of ephemera, British and foreign, not easily assembled, and for the social and political aspects of science in the 1930s and 1940s when many leading practitioners of the physical and biological sciences were strongly left-wing.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom