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Seed Wars: History’s Deadliest Botany Rivalry

iHeart Radio

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event. The greatest botany rivalry in history! It’s Vavilov vs. Lysenko for the fate of the Soviet Union.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Nikolai Vavilov was a big deal. He was studying seed genetics and learning how to prevent famines. Everyone wanted to work with him. Including a young kid named Trofim Lysenko.

Lysenko studied with Vavilov. They were friends. But years later, Lysenko turned on his mentor, and turned against science. This became a problem, because Lysenko was good buddies with Stalin. The feud would bring the Soviet Union to its knees. And it would force Vavilov to make a fateful choice: one between the truth … or his life.

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