Version classiqueVersion mobile

With and Without Galton

 | 
Nikolai Krementsov

II. “Bourgeois” and “proletarian” eugenics

7. Afterlife: Medical Genetics and “Racial” Eugenics

Texte intégral

“Eugenics has to wait for its hour, and nobody knows how soon that hour could arrive.”
Vladimir Polynin, 1967

1After the 1948 banishment of “classical” genetics in the Soviet Union, eugenics and its founder Galton became a practice target for “Marxist” philosophers and party ideologues, while any mention of Florinskii’s eugamics completely vanished from Soviet discourse. It seemed that Human Perfection and Degeneration was now permanently consigned to gathering dust in some remote library storage. But, Fate is a fickle mistress. Shortly after Stalin’s death, during the de-Stalinization campaign launched by his successor Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s and popularly known as the “Thaw,” medical genetics re-emerged in the Soviet Union. Its “resurrection” culminated in the establishment in Moscow of a brand new Institute of Medical Genetics in 1969. Just two years later, both Galton and eugenics were “rehabilitated,” and with them, Florinskii and his book re-entered the contemporary discourse on human reproduction, heredity, variability, development, and evolution. In 1995 a new edition of Florinskii’s treatise came out under the auspices of the very university its author had created in Tomsk more than a century earlier. In 2012, the book was republished once more.

2A series of dramatic developments — both social and scientific — engendered the long quiescence of Human Perfection and Degeneration and inspired its successive revivals in late-Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

The “Rebirth” of (Medical) Genetics

  • 1 See, for instance, Conway Zirkle, ed., Death of a Science in Russia: The Fate of Genetics as Descr (...)
  • 2 For details, see Mark B. Adams, “Genetics and the Soviet Scientific Community, 1948-1965,” doctora (...)

3After August 1948, “classical” genetics in all its forms was banished in the Soviet Union. Yet, though some western observers mourned the “death” of Soviet genetics, the discipline was not dead.1 Rather, it went underground. Although by that time, the founders of Soviet genetics — Nikolai Kol’tsov, Iurii Filipchenko, Nikolai Vavilov, and Alexander Serebrovskii — had all passed away, the extensive networks of their colleagues and students survived Trofim Lysenko’s takeover of the discipline. Even as Lysenko’s “Michurinist biology” reigned supreme and his cronies seized control of nearly all genetics institutions, the discipline’s newly found importance in the age of nuclear weapons and nascent space exploration enabled its practitioners to build new institutional bases outside of Lysenko’s administrative reach. “Classical” genetics and geneticists survived Lysenko’s onslaught in the guise of “radiation biology,” “chemistry of bioactive compounds,” “physico-chemical biology,” “medical radiology,” and other similarly cryptic names, under the protective umbrella of physics and chemistry research facilities involved in Soviet nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and space programmes that became the hallmark of Cold War science. Stalin’s death in March 1953 and the subsequent de-Stalinization campaign initiated by his successor Nikita Khrushchev greatly facilitated this process.2

  • 3 For the full text of the report, see N. S. Khrushchev, “O kul’te lichnosti i ego posledstviiakh,” (...)

4The Thaw inaugurated a radical departure from Stalinism, by introducing a series of political, economic, and social reforms, liberating millions of prisoners from the Gulag, and parting (though just slightly) the Iron Curtain that had separated the Soviet Union from the West with the start of the Cold War. As Khrushchev himself defined its main goals in his famous “secret speech” to the Twentieth Party Congress in February 1956, the de-Stalinization campaign aimed “to overcome the negative consequences of Stalin’s personality cult” and “to rehabilitate victims of Stalinist repression.”3 The entire discipline of genetics certainly qualified as a victim of Stalinist repression, and its proponents launched a concerted campaign for its “rehabilitation.”

  • 4 See S. V. Shalimov, “Razvitie genetiki v Novosibirskom nauchnom tsentre vo vtoroi polovine 1960-kh (...)
  • 5 On Beliaev’s life and works, see a volume of memoirs by his colleagues and family, V. K. Shumnyi, (...)

5Already in 1957, barely a year after Khrushchev’s “secret speech,” a brand new Institute of Cytology and Genetics directed by Kol’tsov’s student Nikolai Dubinin was created as part of Akademgorodok — a “science city” built for the just instituted Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk.4 Although two years later Khrushchev personally fired Dubinin for the latter’s opposition to Lysenko who still exercised his stronghold over Soviet biology and agriculture, the rehabilitation of genetics continued: under the directorship of another geneticist, Dmitrii Beliaev, the Institute of Cytology and Genetics rapidly grew to become a leading center of genetic research in the country.5

6Furthermore, Soviet geneticists were able to re-establish, albeit on a limited scale, their contacts with western colleagues, which had been completely severed after 1948. Although in August 1958, only adherents of “Michurinist biology” came to the Tenth International Genetics Congress in Montreal, a month later, in September, several Soviet “Mendelists,” including Kol’tsov’s students Alexandra Prokof’eva-Bel’govskaia and Sos Alikhanian, attended the Second International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva. There, after more than twenty years of separation, they re-united with their one-time mentor H. J. Muller and met a number of other western geneticists.

  • 6 See, for instance, a detailed but rather self-aggrandizing account of the controversy in N. P. Dub (...)
  • 7 For a detailed examination of how exactly the AMN dealt with Lysenko’s takeover of biological rese (...)
  • 8 S. N. Davidenkov, “Genetika meditsinskaia,” BME, 1958, 6: 841-55.

7As part of the overall revival of genetics, medical genetics was rehabilitated too. Indeed, medical applications of genetics — especially research into the harmful effects of chemical and radioactive mutagens — became the major justification for the rebirth of the discipline. In contrast to the resurrection of general genetics under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences, which was marred by institutional rivalries and raging controversies (particularly in evaluating the discipline’s troubled history and on devising strategies to isolate it from Lysenko’s continuing influence) among several groups of its practitioners,6 the re-institutionalization of medical genetics appeared largely unproblematic. The USSR Academy of Medical Sciences (AMN) — an important base of biological research that had managed to escape Lysenko’s administrative domination while paying lip service to his Michurinist biology — became its main institutional springboard.7 Sergei Davidenkov, one of the last surviving vocal supporters of eugenics, spearheaded the resurrection of medical genetics. Already in 1957, he managed to establish in Leningrad a “medico-genetic laboratory” under the AMN aegis. The following year, he published a voluminous entry on “medical genetics” in the Great Medical Encyclopedia, even though Lysenko’s Michurinist biology remained the officially endorsed doctrine of heredity. In establishing a proper “native” genealogy of medical genetics and connecting it with pressing current concerns, Davidenkov referred to the four volumes of the IMG proceedings issued by Solomon Levit in the 1930s, as well as to recent publications on “genetic consequences of radioactive irradiation.”8

  • 9 See V. P. Efroimson, “Osnovnye dostizheniia meditsinskoi genetiki i ee neotlozhnye zadachi,” Vestn (...)
  • 10 See, for instance, P. B. Gofman-Kadochnikov, Dve lektsii po meditsinskoi genetike (M.: n. p., 1961 (...)
  • 11 See, for instance, Dzh. Nil’ and U. Shell, Nasledstvennost’ u cheloveka (M.: Izdatel’stvo inostran (...)
  • 12 S. N. Davidenkov and V. P. Efroimson, “Nasledstvennost’ cheloveka,” BME, 1961, 19: 1009-65.
  • 13 See Vestnik AMN SSSR, 1962, 17(12).

8Over the next few years, various institutions devoted specifically to medical genetics popped up throughout the vast network of the AMN’s research facilities,9 specialized courses appeared in the curricula of medical schools,10 and foreign books on the subject were translated and published.11 In 1961, together with Vladimir Efroimson, a student of Kol’tsov who had just a few years earlier returned from the Gulag, Davidenkov published an extensive entry on “Human Heredity” in the Great Medical Encyclopedia. The nearly fifty-page-long article demonstrated that the champions of medical genetics had managed to dispose of the labels “bourgeois,” “racist,” and “fascist” attached to their specialty by Stalin’s ideologues, “Marxist” philosophers, and Lysenko’s disciples.12 The next year, the AMN official Herald devoted an entire issue to medical genetics.13

  • 14 See Michael D. Gordin, “Lysenko Unemployed: Soviet Genetics after the Aftermath,” Isis, 2018, 109( (...)
  • 15 S. I. Alikhanian, ed., Aktual’nye voprosy sovremennoi genetiki (M.: MGU, 1966). Given the paucity (...)
  • 16 See G. Mendel’, Opyty nad rastitel’nymi gibridami (M.: Nauka, 1965). Furthermore, three years late (...)
  • 17 See M. Popovskii, “Tysiacha dnei akademika Vavilova,” Prostor (Alma-Ata), 1966, 7-8; and S. Reznik (...)
  • 18 By that time the institute had been renamed the Institute of Developmental Biology. On Astaurov’s (...)

9With Khrushchev’s ousting from power in October 1964, Lysenko finally lost his administrative grip on Soviet biological and agricultural research.14 Classical genetics returned to its prominent place on the agendas of Soviet science, medicine, and agriculture. Geneticists reclaimed their lost institutional bases and feverishly built new ones. One of their most important challenges was the restoration of the teaching of genetics in various schools of higher learning, which had been dominated by Lysenko’s followers for nearly twenty years. In March 1965, under the auspices of Moscow University, several former students of both Kol’tsov and Filipchenko organized a series of “remedial” lectures for professors of universities, as well as agricultural, medical, and pedagogical schools, on “Current Issues in Modern Genetics” that soon appeared in print as a 600-page volume edited by Alikhanian.15 As a clear sign that “Mendelism” was no longer a dirty word of Soviet political rhetoric, the same year the Academy of Sciences released a new edition of Mendel’s Experiments on Plant Hybrids, prepared by another student of Kol’tsov.16 The academy also launched a new journal, proudly titled Genetics. A year later, geneticists established their first disciplinary society, the All-Union Society of Geneticists and Breeders (VOGiS). They defiantly named it after Vavilov, one of the martyrs of Lysenko’s anti-genetics campaign, who became one of the first scientists rehabilitated (posthumously) during the Thaw.17 Boris Astaurov (1904-1974), yet another student of Kol’tsov, became the first president of VOGiS and director of his teacher’s Institute of Experimental Biology.18

  • 19 See Konferentsiia po meditsinskoi genetike. Doklady i preniia, Sovetskaia klinika, 1934, 20(7-8): (...)

10Medical genetics became an integral part of this “genetics renaissance”, which was aptly manifested in the virtual explosion in the number of publications, conferences, courses, and institutions in the field during the 1960s. The programme of the discipline’s extensive development, which had been elaborated by the participants of the 1934 conference on medical genetics organized by Levit, was finally implemented. As the conference’s resolution had envisioned,19 “scientific-research centers for medical genetics and cytology” were created throughout the country, genetics was included in the curricula of medical education, with “departments of medical genetics” established at several medical institutes and “necessary textbooks” produced.

  • 20 Bochkov described his path to genetics in a popular book, titled Genes and Fates, see Bochkov, Gen (...)

11These concerted efforts culminated in the creation in 1969 under the AMN auspices of a brand new Institute of Medical Genetics in Moscow. Nikolai Bochkov (1931-2011) — a young doctor who had studied genetics just a few years earlier under the tutelage of Kol’tsov’s former students Dubinin, Prokof’eva-Bel’govskaia, and Nikolai Timofeev-Ressovskii — was appointed director of the new institute and became the discipline’s leading spokesman in the party-state apparatus.20 Following the lead of its predecessor, Levit’s IMG, the new institute quickly organized a graduate programme to train a new generation of “medical geneticists.”

  • 21 See V. P. Efroimson, “K istorii izucheniia genetiki cheloveka v SSSR,” Genetika, 1967, 10: 114-27.
  • 22 See V. P. Efroimson, Vvedenie v meditsinskuiu genetiku (M.: Meditsina, 1964).

12By that time, nearly all members of the Russian Eugenics Society involved with the early development of medical genetics, including Davidenkov, Iudin, Kol’tsov, Levit, Serebrovskii, and Volotskoi, had passed away. It was their students, and students of their students, who effectuated the second institutionalization of their teachers’ endeavor. Indeed, as a way to legitimize their field, the new generation of medical geneticists traced their genealogy to Levit’s IMG, as the world’s first institution of its kind.21 The first original Russian textbook on medical genetics published in 1964 by Efroimson contained a lengthy, laudatory account of Levit’s and his co-workers’ research on the medical applications of genetics.22

  • 23 See, for instance, E. N. Pavlovskii and P. S. Pervomaiskii, “Ob eksperimental’nom izmenenii nasled (...)
  • 24 See E. Pavlovskii, “Evgenika,” BME, 1959, 9: 961-67.

13Yet the successful revitalization of medical genetics did not mean that Galton and eugenics were also rehabilitated. After all, the first generation of medical geneticists had done their best to obscure the links between their new discipline and its predecessor. Characteristically, the Great Medical Encyclopedia that contained Davidenkov’s articles on “medical genetics” and “human heredity” had no entry on Galton. It did carry a lengthy article on eugenics, though, written by Evgenii Pavlovskii, an eminent protozoologist and Davidenkov’s fellow member of the AMN. In the aftermath of August 1948, Pavlovskii had become a vocal ally of Lysenko.23 Expectedly, his article pointed to “the energetic struggle against eugenicists by our social hygienists [such as] Z. G. Solov’ev and N. A. Semashko,” and repeated Lysenko’s stock condemnation of eugenics as “racist,” “fascist,” and “imperialist,” but did not provide any references or suggestions for further readings.24

14Given that after 1930 in the Soviet Union eugenics had become exclusively “theirs,” one might think that the new champions of medical genetics would not be aware of the discipline’s deep roots in eugenics, and even less so of Vasilii Florinskii and his treatise. And even if they were, they would not be much interested in exposing these roots. After all, the major justification for the resurrection of medical genetics was not the old concerns with “hereditary diseases” and “degeneration,” which had fueled the early interest in eugenics, but the new dangers ushered in by the arms and space race of the Cold War. Yet, just as Mendel was reinstated into Soviet discourse on heredity, so too Galton, eugenics, Florinskii, and “marriage hygiene” were brought back into Soviet discourse on human reproduction, heredity, development, and evolution. In contrast to the first institutionalization of medical genetics in the early 1930s, this time, commentators on Galton’s and Florinskii’s concepts presented both as the predecessors of “new” medical genetics that superseded and replaced the outdated and flawed “old” eugenics. Indeed, they hailed Florinskii as the founder of the discipline in Russia and his treatise as one of the “first approaches to the development of medical genetics.”

Eugenics, Rehabilitated

  • 25 See V. Polynin, Mama, papa i ia (M.: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1967). For a brief sketch of Blanter’s wo (...)
  • 26 Polynin, Mama, papa i ia, pp. 182, 293-300.
  • 27 He would slightly expand this very impoverished portrayal of early Soviet eugenics in a fictionali (...)

15In 1967, Vladimir Blanter, a young journalist based at the leading popular-science magazine Priroda (who wrote under the pen names of Polynin and Dolinin), published a voluminous popular book on human heredity, enticingly titled Mother, Father, and I.25 Sketching the short but complicated history of human genetics, Blanter wrote a special section that favorably described Galton’s efforts in “creating a new science of eugenics” devoted to “human betterment” and outlined the “perversions” of eugenics by its American and German proponents.26 The journalist briefly recounted eugenic ideas espoused by Filipchenko, Kol’tsov, and Serebrovskii, without once mentioning any other Russian eugenicists, the Russian Eugenics Society, or the Russian Eugenics Journal.27 In fact, Blanter misrepresented Kol’tsov’s eugenic programme and conflated the three facets of eugenics carefully delineated by the RES president. He stated that the leader of Soviet eugenics had sought “to search for practical measures to rid humankind of hereditary ailments [and] to turn away from problematical eugenics to practically important anthropotechnique, or, as it was later named — anthropogenetics, or, as it is called now — medical genetics.” “Eugenics as a science has withered away,” Blanter declared, “not because it was unnecessary, but because it was impracticable at the time.” “Eugenics has to wait for its hour, and nobody knows how soon that hour could arrive,” he asserted.

  • 28 B. Astaurov, “Predislovie,” in Polynin, Mama, papa i ia, pp. 5-11. All the subsequent quotations a (...)

16In an enthusiastic foreword to Blanter’s book, the VOGiS president Astaurov announced, however, that the “hour of eugenics” had already arrived.28 Echoing Volotskoi, Serebrovskii, and other 1920s proponents of “socialist” eugenics, Astaurov maintained that “every social formation creates its own eugenics.” “The mistakes and misunderstandings of eugenicists in capitalist societies,” he declared, do not mean that “the very idea of eugenics is wrong.” To the contrary, in his opinion, it is socialist society that offers the possibility of creating “true eugenics.” “We must create such a system of the protection of hereditary health,” he elaborated, “within which the interests of society would not suppress the rights of the individual, [and] the protection of the health of all would not undermine but support the care for the health of the individual.” Astaurov praised Blanter for bringing this issue to the attention of his readers. “Whatever forms the socialist eugenics of the future (will hope a very near future!) will take,” he concluded, “there is no doubt that it will be built on the strong foundation of exact knowledge about the general laws of genetics [and] about human genetics (anthropogenetics), and it will consist of the rational applications of recommendations offered by medical genetics.”

  • 29 See I. I. Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, 1822-1911 (L.: Nauka, 1972). In 2000 the book was reprinted in (...)

17Five years later, in 1972, the rehabilitation of eugenics and its founder came to a head with the publication of the first Russian-language scholarly biography of Galton.29 The book came out under the auspices of Nauka, the publishing house of the Academy of Sciences, as part of its renowned series of “Scientific Biographies,” with a print run of 10,000 copies. Ivan Kanaev (1893-1984), a student of Filipchenko, finished the job begun by his mentor half a century earlier by producing a detailed account of Galton’s life and works.

Fig. 7-1. Iurii Filipchenko (in the center of the first row) with his students: Theodosius Dobzhansky (left in the second row) and Ivan Kanaev (third from the left in the second row), 1925. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of N. Medvedev.

  • 30 See, for instance, N. A. Pan’kov, “Gete v Saranske. Pis’ma M. M. Bakhtina k I. I. Kanaevu,” Dialog (...)
  • 31 For a brief biography of Kanaev, see K. V. Manoilenko, “I. I. Kanaev i ego rol’v razvitii evoliuts (...)
  • 32 The following biographical information comes from Kanaev’s “autobiography” and other materials pre (...)
  • 33 See I. I. Kanaev, “Iz istorii biologii v Leningrade v nachale 20-kh godov,” Nauka i tekhnika (vopr (...)

18Kanaev was perfectly positioned to do the job. Mostly remembered as a historian of biology and a life-long friend of the prominent philosopher, literary theorist, and semiotician Mikhail Bakhtin (and an influential member of the “Bakhtin circle”),30 Kanaev was actually one of the leading human geneticists of his time.31 Born in 1893 in St. Petersburg to the family of a civil servant, Kanaev graduated from Petrograd University’s school of natural sciences in the spring of 1918, just as the new Bolshevik government had abandoned the imperial capital.32 Together with hundreds of thousands of the city’s inhabitants, the young biologist fled starving Petrograd for better pastures. He settled in a small town, some 300 kilometers south of Petrograd, where he survived the harsh years of the civil war and War Communism by teaching science at a local school. With the end of the civil war and the adoption of the NEP, Petrograd began to come back to life, and in the summer of 1922 Kanaev returned to his home city. He made a living as a science teacher at a secondary school and began his academic career as an unpaid assistant in Filipchenko’s department of “genetics and experimental zoology” at his alma mater.33

  • 34 See, for instance, I. I. Kanaev, Nasledstvennost’: Nauchno-populiarnyi ocherk (L.: Priboi, 1925).
  • 35 Kanaev’s magnum opus on the subject appeared in 1952 and was translated into English in 1969, see (...)
  • 36 See, for instance, I. Kanajew [Kanaev], “Über den Porus aboralis bei Pelmatohydra oligactis Pall., (...)
  • 37 In 1930, as part of the sweeping reorganizations of the Great Break, all medical schools were sepa (...)

19As did other students of Filipchenko, in the 1920s Kanaev took an active part in the wide-ranging campaign mounted by his mentor to popularize genetics.34 But his personal interests centered on other areas of experimental biology, especially regeneration. He studied the regeneration of Hydra, a genus of small, fresh-water animals that had captivated scientists’ attention since Swiss naturalist Abraham Trembley first researched these polyps in the mid-eighteenth century.35 In 1926, Kanaev quit his teaching job and entered graduate studies in Filipchenko’s department. He employed new experimental methods to investigate the histology, cytology, and morphology of Hydra in order to uncover the mechanisms of their remarkable capacity for regeneration. These studies — presented in several articles in Russian and German scholarly and popular journals — laid a foundation for his dissertation, successfully defended in early 1930.36 After the death of Filipchenko in the spring of 1930, Kanaev joined the biology department at the just established Leningrad Medical Institute as an assistant professor.37 Perhaps the move to the medical school induced Kanaev to radically shift his focus. He turned to the subject that had fascinated his late mentor — human genetics. In the early 1930s, Kanaev began research on the genetics of “higher nervous activity” in twins.

  • 38 For details, see Todes, Ivan Pavlov.
  • 39 See I. P. Pavlov, Dvadtsatiletnii opyt ob” ektivnogo izucheniia vysshei nervnoi deiatel’nosti (pov (...)
  • 40 On Pavlov’s flirtation with Lamarckism and its consequences, see Krementsov, “Marxism, Darwinism, a (...)
  • 41 See N. K. Kol’tsov, “I. P. Pavlov: Trud zhizni velikogo biologa,” Biologicheskii zhurnal, 1936, 5 (...)

20The unwieldy expression “higher nervous activity” had been introduced by Russia’s Nobel-winning physiologist Ivan Pavlov in his efforts to create an objective vocabulary for describing what contemporary psychologists called the “psyche” or the “mind.”38 His method of conditional reflexes provided a major tool for studies of higher nervous activity, which from 1903 on became the main focus of research conducted by Pavlov and his numerous co-workers.39 In the early 1920s, as did many of his fellow physiologists, Pavlov supported the Lamarckian notion of the inheritance of acquired characteristics and even attempted to prove it experimentally, assigning one of his students to investigate “the inheritance of conditional reflexes” in successive generations of mice. Allegedly these experiments proved that conditional reflexes acquired by one generation become inherited in the subsequent ones, and Pavlov proudly presented the results of these experiments at several international and domestic meetings. Pavlov’s reports elicited sharp critique from geneticists, including Thomas Hunt Morgan and Kol’tsov, prompting Russia’s premier physiologist to turn his attention to genetics.40 Indeed, at Kol’tsov’s instigation, Pavlov created a special laboratory for studies on “the genetics of higher nervous activity.”41 As a symbol of Pavlov’s commitment to genetics, a bronze bust of Mendel was placed in front of the laboratory in Koltushi (see fig. 7-2).

Fig. 7-2. Gregor Mendel’s bust in front of Ivan Pavlov’s Laboratory for the Experimental Genetics of Higher Nervous Activity in Koltushi. An inscription on the building’s façade reproduces Pavlov’s motto: “Scrutiny and Scrutiny.” After August 1948, the bust was removed and put in storage. It was restored to its prominent place only in the 1960s. Photo by the author, 2016.

  • 42 Some of Krasnogorskii’s experiments with conditional reflexes in children had been recorded in the (...)
  • 43 See I. I. Kanaev, “Izuchenie bliznetsov, kak geneticheskii metod,” Priroda, 1934, 12: 37-45; idem,(...)
  • 44 See I. I. Kanaev, “Bezuslovnye sliunnye refleksy u chelovecheskikh bliznetsov,” Doklady Akademii n (...)

21In the fall of 1932, Kanaev approached Pavlov with a proposal to organize research on higher nervous activity in twins. Inspired by Galton’s pioneering studies of twins to distinguish the role of nature and nurture in the development of human mental characteristics, Kanaev suggested that a careful comparison of various parameters in the formation of conditional reflexes in twins might help disentangle the “inherited” and the “acquired” in their higher nervous activity. Pavlov appeared quite interested. He himself, however, never experimented on humans; his preferred research subjects were dogs. But some of his co-workers did carry out research on humans. Nikolai Krasnogorskii, a well-known pediatrician, had been studying conditional reflexes in children since the early 1920s.42 Thus, it was in Krasnogorskii’s laboratory that Kanaev began his experiments on conditional salivary reflexes in twins.43 A few years later, he joined Davidenkov’s laboratory and greatly expanded his research. Kanaev published numerous articles in academic and popular journals detailing the results of his studies, which formed the basis for the Doctor of Science dissertation he successfully defended in 1939.44

  • 45 I. I. Kanaev, “Eksperimental’naia genetika vysshei nervnoi deiatel’nosti,” Uspekhi sovremennoi bio (...)
  • 46 For details, see N. L. Krementsov, “Ot sel’skogo khoziaistva do… meditsiny,” in Repressirovannaia (...)
  • 47 See, for instance, I. I. Kanaev, “K izucheniiu nervnykh protsessov pri dvigatel’nykh reaktsiiakh r (...)

22The Nazi invasion in 1941 interrupted Kanaev’s research. Together with the staff of the Leningrad Medical Institute, he was evacuated from the besieged city to the rear. In summer 1944 he returned to Leningrad and soon resumed his twins-based studies at the institute in Koltushi directed by Leon Orbeli. In early 1948, Kanaev published an overview of his research on the “experimental genetics of higher nervous activity” and outlined its future directions.45 Just a few months later, the fateful August VASKhNIL session banned genetics in the Soviet Union. Kanaev was fired from his post as the chairman of the biology department at the Leningrad Medical Institute.46 But Orbeli managed to hide the well-known “Mendelist” at his institute in Koltushi, where Kanaev switched from genetics to physiological research on various motor reactions and time sense in children.47

  • 48 For instance, he was one of the nearly 300 signatories to the famous letter detailing the detrimen (...)
  • 49 On the history of this institution and Kanaev’s work there, see E. I. Kolchinskii, Istoriko-nauchn (...)
  • 50 See, I. I. Kanaev, “Gete-naturalist,” in I. V. Gete, Izbrannye sochineniia po estestvoznaniiu (M.: (...)
  • 51 I. I. Kanaev, Bliznetsy. Ocherki po voprosam mnogoplodiia (M.-L.: Izd. AN SSSR, 1959).
  • 52 Many, but not all of these articles were reprinted in the volume of his “selected works,” see Kana (...)

23After Stalin’s death, Kanaev joined other geneticists in their efforts to rehabilitate their discipline.48 But with the beginning of the Thaw, he once again radically changed his academic career. In 1957, he joined a branch of the Academy of Sciences Institute for the History of Natural Sciences and Technology (IIET) recently established in Leningrad.49 By the end of the year he published his first monumental work as a historian: a scholarly edition of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Selected Works on Natural Science, issued by Nauka in its renowned series “Classics of Science.” Kanaev not only translated into Russian all the texts included in the 550-page volume, he also supplied them with extensive commentaries and a lengthy analysis of Goethe’s work as a naturalist.50 Two years later he published a sizable monograph on twins, tracing the history of anatomical, physiological, psychological, and genetic studies on twins from Antiquity to the present.51 In the following decade, Kanaev published numerous articles and half a dozen monographs on the history of biology.52 He produced detailed historical analyses of the investigations on the physiology of color vision and on comparative anatomy before and after Darwin. He wrote scholarly biographies of such luminaries as Georges-Louis Buffon, George Cuvier, Goethe, Carl-Friedrich Kielmeyer, and Abraham Trembley. In short, during the 1960s, Kanaev became a leading Soviet historian of eighteenth-and nineteenth-century biology. Recognizing his numerous accomplishments, in 1971 the International Academy of the History of Science elected him a corresponding member.

  • 53 For an interesting comparison of these visions, see John Griffiths, Three Tomorrows: American, Bri (...)

24It is unclear from available materials who or what prompted Kanaev to write a biography of Galton. But its publication appears to have been part of an extensive effort to rehabilitate eugenics as a legitimate way to address the issues of humanity’s future and the role that human genetics could play in shaping that future. The development of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction, together with the start of the space era with the launching of Sputnik in 1957 and Iurii Gagarin’s flight in 1961, generated acute anxieties about the possible future of humankind. In the tense atmosphere of the Cold War, the apocalyptic visions of humanity’s destruction in a possible next (nuclear, chemical, bacteriological) world war — intertwined with dreams of conquering the “final frontier,” space, and either joining other sentient beings in intergalactic unions, or fighting off invading aliens — fueled extensive social debates about the future, readily manifested in the virtual explosion of science fiction in both the East and West during the 1950s and 1960s.53

  • 54 See Gordon Wolstenholme, ed., Man and his Future (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co, 1963), https:/ (...)
  • 55 On “new” eugenics, see Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics; R. A. Soloway, “From Mainline to Reform Eu (...)

25The contemporary path-breaking developments in biology — from the deciphering of the genetic code to the synthesis of Darwinism with population genetics and ecology — made biology, and particularly genetics, an integral part of such debates, as witnessed by the 1962 symposium on “Man and his Future” held in London with contributions by the leading lights of contemporary biology, including Francis Crick, J. B. S. Haldane, Julian Huxley, Joshua Lederberg, Fritz A. Lipmann, Peter B. Medawar, and Muller.54 Indeed in the West, these developments spurred the rise of a “new” eugenics that strove to dispense with the negative connotations and legacies of pre-war “mainline,” “old-school” eugenics (engendered by the Nazi atrocities and forced sterilizations of the “unfit” in the United States, Scandinavia, and elsewhere) and to revitalize the eugenic vision of a directed human evolution.55

26But for Soviet biologists, and especially geneticists, engaging in these debates presented a clear ideological danger. For, as we saw in the previous chapter, after 1930, in the Soviet Union the mere invocation of biology in any discussion of human nature and humanity’s future had been condemned as pernicious biologization, and the entire subject had become the exclusive domain of “Marxist” philosophers and party ideologues. Under these conditions, the liberating atmosphere of the Thaw notwithstanding, legitimizing the medical applications of genetics in the eyes of the party-state apparatus was one thing — relatively easily accomplished by references to the harmful genetic effects of nuclear weapons tests and industrial pollution. But justifying geneticists’ incursion into issues of humanity’s future was an entirely different task, one that required first and foremost dispensing with philosophers’ tight control over what in Marxist lingo was elliptically named “methodological problems of biology,” but in fact meant the social applications and societal implications of biology, and particularly genetics.

  • 56 See, for instance, Anon., “Glubzhe razrabatyvat’metodologicheskie problemy biologii,” Voprosy filo (...)
  • 57 See, for instance, Dzh. B. S. Kholdein, “O vozmozhnosti sotsial’nykh prilozhenii antropogenetiki,” (...)
  • 58 See, for instance, Ia. S. Iorish, “Budushchee biologii i obshchestvo,” Voprosy filosofii, 1966, 9: (...)
  • 59 See an overview of the discussion in I. K. Liseev and A. Ia. Sharov, “Genetika cheloveka, ee filos (...)
  • 60 On Neifakh and his contributions, see M. E. Aspiz, “Ob A. A. Neifakhe kak ob uchenom,” in A. A. Ne (...)
  • 61 Partially this discussion has been examined in Loren R. Graham, “Reasons to Studying Soviet Scienc (...)
  • 62 See, for instance, B. A. Nikitiuk, ed., Sootnoshenie biologicheskogo i sotsial’nogo v razvitii che (...)

27During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Soviet geneticists launched a coordinated campaign aimed at wresting control over the “methodological problems” of their discipline from philosophers.56 They regularly referred to the debates over the importance of genetics to the future development of humanity by their western colleagues, especially those sympathetic to the Soviet Union, such as J. B. S. Haldane, and even translated some of them into Russian.57 For instance, in 1966, Issues in Philosophy (the mouthpiece of Soviet philosophers that had replaced Under the Banner of Marxism) carried a lengthy overview of the polemics on “genetics and eugenics” that had unfolded at the London symposium on “Man and his Future.”58 The campaign reached its apex in a special discussion on “human genetics, its methodological and socio-ethical issues” held in 1970 under the auspices of Issues in Philosophy.59 Eminent Soviet geneticists, including Bochkov, Dubinin, Efroimson, and Alexander Neifakh, a leader of Soviet “molecular” genetics,60 took part in the spirited defence of their own control over the social implications and possible applications of the latest discoveries in genetics and the role their discipline was to play in the future of humanity.61 Over the next few years, numerous academic conferences explicitly addressed the interrelations of the biological and the social in the understanding of human reproduction, heredity, variability, individual and social development, and evolution.62

  • 63 Compare, for instance, special brochures on “Genetics and the Future of Humanity” published in the (...)
  • 64 The campaign also spread to literary and popular journals. For instance, in 1971, the leading jour (...)
  • 65 For instance, in 1965 a special collection, under the revealing title “The Novelty in Science and (...)
  • 66 With a short time lag, each volume of the entire encyclopedia was translated into English and publ (...)

28The campaign was not limited to debates on the pages of philosophy journals or the proceedings of scientific meetings. Geneticists made sure that their efforts in defending their own right to define the social applications and implications of their discipline reached a much broader audience.63 One important venue was the Great Soviet Encyclopedia that, alongside the multivolume edition of Lenin’s Complete Works, was an obligatory holding of every public library in the country.64 In the mid-1960s, scientists began to lobby the party-state apparatus to produce a new edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia to replace the previous one, which had been issued during the Stalin era and was replete with the “Marxist” lingo and ideological clichés.65 In 1970, just as the debate between geneticists and philosophers was unfolding, the first volumes of the new, third edition came out under the general editorship of Nobel-prize winning physicist Alexander Prokhorov.66 The new edition became a convenient instrument for rehabilitating eugenics and its founder.

  • 67 M. G. Iaroshevskii, “Gal’ton, Frensis,” BSE, 1971, 6: 229-30.
  • 68 Anon, “Gal’ton, Fransis,” BSE, 1952, 10: 179.

29A brief entry on Galton that appeared in 1971, in the encyclopedia’s sixth volume, however, was written not by a geneticist, but by Mikhail Iaroshevskii, a historian of psychology.67 In contrast to the previous edition, which had characterized Galton as “a reactionary English racist anthropologist, founder of a bourgeois pseudoscience — eugenics,”68 the new one focused almost exclusively on Galton’s contributions to the development of experimental psychology and psychometry. All that Iaroshevskii had to say about eugenics fit into two sentences: “Analyzing hereditary factors, Galton came to the conclusion of the necessity of creating eugenics. The limitations of Galton’s psychological views are expressed in his notion of the predetermination of a person’s intellectual achievements by genetic endowments, and his political conservatism — in an attempt to present labouring masses as biologically defective.”

  • 69 M. E. Lobashov and Iu. E. Vel’tishchev, “Evgenika,” BSE, 1971, 8: 584-85. All the subsequent quota (...)

30The encyclopedia’s eighth volume published the same year, by contrast, contained an extensive entry on “Eugenics” written by Mikhail Lobashov (1907-1971) — a student of Filipchenko who had “inherited” his teacher’s genetics department at Leningrad University — in collaboration with Iurii Vel’tishchev, a well-known Moscow pediatrician.69 Mistakenly stating that the term eugenics had first been introduced in Hereditary Genius, the article identified “English biologist F. Galton” as “the founder of eugenics.” “Although progressive scientists put forward humane purposes for eugenics,” the authors declared:

it was often used by reactionaries and racists, who, building on pseudoscientific notions of the inferiority of separate races and peoples and on nationalistic prejudices and conflicts, justified racial and national discrimination, substituted the so-called racial hygiene for eugenics, and legitimized genocide, as [German] Fascism had done in pursuit of its political goals.

31As a result, the authors claimed, the very term “eugenics” had become highly contentious. Nowadays, they continued, some scientists consider its use justified, while others suppose that “the main contents of eugenics, including its tasks and goals, as well as the most rational ways to reach them, shall be taken over by such rapidly developing fields as human genetics (or anthropogenetics) and medical genetics.” The rest of the article made clear that the authors themselves subscribed to the latter view. They detailed the “preventive role” of medical genetics performed through studies of chemical and radioactive mutagens, the regulation of kin marriages, and medico-genetic consultations. In contrast to such preventive methods, the authors asserted, “so-called positive methods of influencing human nature, which imply the preferential increase of the progeny of persons with exceptional intellectual or physical qualities (artificial insemination, creation of sperm banks, and so on), are, as a rule, future oriented.” But, they concluded, “These methods of the betterment of humankind have often been criticized and have not been [commonly] recognized and propagated.”

  • 70 See E. F. Davidenkova, “Genetika meditsinskaia,” BSE, 1971, 6: 692-94.
  • 71 See D. K. Beliaev, “Genetika,” BSE, 1971, 6: 677-91, and A. A. Prokof’eva-Bel’govskaia, K. N. Grin (...)
  • 72 N. V. Glotov, A. A. Liapunov, and N. V. Timofeev-Resovskii, “Biometriia,” BSE, 1970, 3: 1061-62.

32Although Lobashov and Vel’tishchev basically equated eugenics with medical genetics, the entry on the discipline written by Evgeniia Davidenkova-Kul’kova (Davidenkov’s wife and long-time collaborator) and published in the encyclopedia’s sixth volume contained no references to either eugenics or Galton at all.70 Similarly, neither was mentioned in the entries on “Genetics” written by director of the Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics Beliaev and on “Human genetics” co-written by Prokof’eva-Bel’govskaia.71 Only one entry, on “Biometry,” co-authored by Timofeev-Ressovskii, did mention Galton — as one of the founders of the discipline.72

  • 73 I. I. Kanaev and V. A. Pokrovskii, “Bliznetsy,” BSE, 1970, 3: 1249.

33It seems likely that the sparse and contradictory nature of Galton’s portrayal on the pages of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia prodded Kanaev into writing a fully-fledged biography of the “English psychologist and anthropologist,” as he was identified in Iaroshevskii’s entry. Kanaev himself was involved in the work on the new edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, having co-authored an entry on “Twins” that appeared in 1970 in its third volume.73 He also knew Lobashov, the co-author of the entry on “Eugenics,” quite well. Aside from their old acquaintance at Filipchenko’s laboratory, Lobashov, after having been fired from Leningrad University in the fall of 1948, had also found refuge at Orbeli’s institute in Koltushi, alongside Kanaev. Given that by the 1960s Kanaev had a well-established reputation as a foremost historian of nineteenth-century biology, perhaps Lobashov even consulted with his older fellow geneticist on writing the entry.

  • 74 See a reference to Galton’s research in Kanaev’s first publication on the subject, I. Kanaev, “Izu (...)
  • 75 Kanaev, Bliznetsy, p. 29.
  • 76 See I. I. Kanaev, Bliznetsy i genetika (L.: Nauka, 1968), p. 49.

34Although in his encyclopedia article on twins Kanaev did not mention Galton, he was certainly well aware of the latter’s role in the introduction of the “twins method” in the studies of heredity, which had inspired his own research on the genetics of higher nervous activity.74 Indeed, in his 1959 volume, Twins, Kanaev stressed the pioneering role “anthropologist Galton” had played in using twins as a “means to study the interrelations of heredity and environment, ‘nature and nurture’, as Galton himself had phrased it.”75 A decade later, in 1968, Kanaev published a popular book titled Twins and Genetics, which provided a thorough historical overview of the studies of heredity in twins.76 In this account, he again briefly mentioned Galton’s contributions to the development of this line of research.

  • 77 See I. I. Kanaev to Th. Dobzhansky, 10 February 1969. Theodosius Dobzhansky Papers, Mss. B. D65. S (...)
  • 78 On Dobzhansky, see Mark B. Adams, ed., The Evolution of Theodosius Dobzhansky: His Life and Though (...)
  • 79 See I. I. Kanaev, Gete kak estestvoispytatel’(L.: Nauka, 1970); idem, Ocherki iz istorii problem f (...)

35But there is no indication that at that time he even considered writing Galton’s biography. During the 1960s, the history of genetics occasionally figured in Kanaev’s works: he gave several talks on Mendel and on the history of genetic research in Leningrad spearheaded by his teacher Filipchenko. Available materials show that after publishing the volume on Twins and Genetics, Kanaev started thinking about writing “a history of twentieth-century human genetics.”77 In February 1969, in a letter to Theodosius Dobzhansky, a leading US population geneticist and architect of the evolutionary synthesis, Kanaev asked his one-time co-worker at Filipchenko’s genetics department (see fig. 7-1) a series of questions on the subject.78 He was particularly interested in “whether anything of Galton’s legacy is still alive, especially of his eugenics,” and whether “positive eugenics still really exists and has any future.” He asked his US colleague for recommendations on “recent good books and articles on the subject,” noting that he had read with great interest Dobzhansky’s Mankind Evolving that articulated the latter’s views on the future evolution of humanity. In his correspondence with Dobzhansky, Kanaev did not mention that he was planning to write Galton’s biography. From 1969 through 1971, he was finishing his monumental treatise on Goethe as a Naturalist, working on a history of the physiological investigations of color vision, and researching Trembley’s biography.79 Yet, busy as he was with these projects, in late 1971, Kanaev also finished writing his biography of Galton. The next summer, in time for the 150th anniversary of Galton’s birth, the book came out.

  • 80 Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, p. 5.

36In the preface, Kanaev declared that his book was merely “an attempt to provide only a brief account of the multifaceted activities of the brilliant man whose theoretical positions had been very contradictory.”80 He had not aimed at creating a fully-fledged, comprehensive study of Galton’s “manifold and innovative works,” Kanaev asserted, for such a study is impossible for a single individual and would require “a group of specialists in all the major disciplines to which this remarkable scientist contributed.” Yet, “since at the present we have neither books, nor articles about Galton at all,” he stated, “this work is aimed to fill, if only for a time, this lacuna, and perhaps to inspire [further] interest in this great scientist, whose influence in science is still alive even today.” “Paying tribute to Galton’s scientific achievements,” Kanaev cautioned his readers, “we cannot forget that he was a son of his century and his class, and this inevitably influenced his worldview and framed his thoughts.” The biographer underscored “shortcomings and mistakes in his views” and promised “to critically evaluate the negative, even reactionary part of his legacy,” especially some of Galton’s “completely unacceptable” racist, social-Darwinist, and eugenic ideas and proposals.

37Predictably, the book focused mostly on Galton’s contributions to the studies of human heredity, variability, and evolution. After the first chapter on “Galton’s Youth,” Kanaev moved straight to his analysis of Hereditary Genius. The third chapter detailed Galton’s works on “Heredity and Twins.” The next dealt with “Psychological Investigations and Composite Portraits.” The fifth sketched Galton’s research on “Anthropometry and Fingerprints,” while the sixth analyzed his development of statistical methods for studies in heredity. The last chapter addressed directly Galton’s eugenics.

38In his conclusion, Kanaev very briefly recapitulated Galton’s contributions to various fields of science, but focused mainly on eugenics, echoing many of the criticisms leveled at Galtonian eugenics by Volotskoi, Serebrovskii, and other 1920s “Marxist” critics. “Evaluating Galton’s works on eugenics, one clearly sees their deep contradictions,” the biographer stressed, for, “on the one hand, their goal was profoundly humanistic and scientific — to better human hereditary nature,” while, on the other hand, “the realisation of this idea, aside of its natural, for the pre-genetic era, scientific naiveté and faultiness of many conceptions, was grounded in a clearly visible class approach.” “Most of Galton’s ideas,” Kanaev declared, “were shaped by the demands of the growing British imperialism of his time.” Furthermore, he stated, “Galton’s proposals for the betterment of humankind are based on a purely biological approach to the issue” and ignore “social factors in the development of various human qualities.” “In the hands of his followers,” the biographer continued, “eugenics acquired monstrous forms absolutely unacceptable in their immorality and scientific unfoundedness.” Yet, “the very idea of the betterment of human heredity will find its place in science,” Kanaev affirmed, supporting his statement with a long excerpt from Astaurov’s foreword to Blanter’s book. He finished by declaring that in “rethinking critically Galton’s [eugenic] ideas, it is useful to understand the history of this issue, which has been the goal of this book” [129-30].

  • 81 This rehabilitation was continued, albeit in a limited way, in the biographies of the two leaders (...)
  • 82 P. F. Rokitskii, “Osnovopolozhnik genetiki cheloveka,” Priroda, 1973, 5: 116-18; all the subsequen (...)

39Kanaev’s book effectively rehabilitated both Galton and eugenics in the Soviet Union.81 A laudatory review of the biography published in Priroda under the title “The Founder of Human Genetics” by Kol’tsov’s student and leading Soviet mathematical geneticist Petr Rokitskii particularly praised Kanaev’s handling of Galton’s eugenics.82 “Undoubtedly, Galton set before himself humanistic and scientific goals,” the reviewer declared, reiterating the book’s overall message, “and could not foresee what eugenic proposals would turn into in the future.” He confirmed Kanaev’s “general conclusion” that “perversions and distortions of eugenics (the demands to introduce coerced sterilization, immigration laws to preserve the purity of the white race, and especially the mass extermination of the representatives of ostensibly ‘lower’ races by German fascists) could not serve as a reason for a nihilistic attitude towards the scientific content of eugenics.” “As the use of the atomic bomb cannot be blamed on physics, and the propaganda of social Darwinism on Darwin,” the reviewer elaborated, so, too, Galton is not responsible for the misuses and misinterpretations of his ideas. Rokitskii affirmed Kanaev’s opinion that, although eugenics “had to a certain degree stimulated studies in human genetics,” “in our times there is very little left of Galton’s eugenics.” “What remains,” according to the reviewer, “is its ‘healthy nucleus’ — the idea that on the basis of science, humanity should control its own reproduction, paying attention to the betterment of its biological characteristics.” “Modern medical genetics, as it is known, not only studies hereditary diseases and anomalies,” he explained, “but also searches for the means of their prevention and treatment.” “I have no doubts,” Rokitskii concluded:

that acquaintance with I. I. Kanaev’s book would be very beneficial to biologists and [more] generally to scientific workers in all fields, because it not only depicts very well the talented personality of Francis Galton, but also shows the deep connections of modern biology and genetics with ideas and conceptions propounded a century ago.

  • 83 Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, p. 117.

40Kanaev not only rehabilitated Galton and his “brain-child,” he also brought back to discussions on human heredity, eugenics, and medical genetics Vasilii Florinskii and his treatise. In the last chapter of Galton’s biography he mentioned Florinskii in passing as “a Russian professor, a contemporary of Galton,” who had written a book on Human Perfection and Degeneration. According to Kanaev, unlike Galton who had mostly focused on the “possibility of creating exceptionally talented and healthy people,” Florinskii had been interested in one particular form of “eugenic activities,” namely “marriage hygiene,” as a means of “preventing the birth of sick progeny.” “This form of eugenic activities is easier and more accessible [than the one advocated by Galton],” he stated, and “today this important practical part [of eugenic activities] is called ‘medical genetics’.”83

  • 84 He certainly knew of Volotskoi’s active involvement with eugenics and human genetics. In the book (...)
  • 85 Kanaev to Dobzhansky, 14 March 1969, Dobzhansky Papers.

41Kanaev had probably been aware of Florinskii’s book and its active use by Volotskoi in constructing “socialist” eugenics since his early days at Filipchenko’s genetics department. His work on Twins and Genetics prompted him to review the extensive earlier literature on both eugenics and human genetics and may well have led him to revisit Volotskoi’s edition of Florinskii’s treatise.84 In the postscript to his 1969 letter to Dobzhansky, Kanaev inquired whether his correspondent knew of “V. M. Florinskii’s ‘Human perfection and degeneration’,” asserting that “from a historical viewpoint, it is a remarkable book.” A month later, clearly in answer to Dobzhansky’s question, Kanaev provided a brief description of the book and its author. He noted that he had written an article on Florinskii and hopes to send it to his US colleague as soon as it came out.85

  • 86 I. I. Kanaev, “Na puti k meditsinskoi genetike,” Priroda, 1973, 1: 52-68. All the subsequent quota (...)
  • 87 Kanaev’s main sources for Florinskii’s biography were the 1898 history of the IMSA gynecology depa (...)

42This article, however, appeared only after Kanaev had finished Galton’s biography. Published in Priroda under the title “On the Path to Medical Genetics,” the article provided an extensive summary of Human Perfection and Degeneration and a brief biography of its author.86 “If we imagine that Turgenev’s Bazarov — a physician, materialist, and democrat — became a professor and decided to write a tract on the subject,” Kanaev mused opening his article, “the resulting book would undoubtedly be very close in spirit to Florinskii’s.” To support this characterization of Florinskii as “a man of the 1860s,” “a physician, materialist, and democrat,” embedded in the popular image of the main character of Turgenev’s classic, Fathers and Children, Kanaev sketched the main facts of the professor’s life and work, from his family’s “peasant origins” to his role in establishing Tomsk University.87

  • 88 A copy of Florinskii’s book held in this library has numerous pencil marks on the margins indicati (...)

43The bulk of the article dealt with Florinskii’s “remarkable book” that, as Kanaev put it, echoing Kol’tsov’s characterization, “had further developed Darwin’s ideas.” Like his predecessor Volotskoi, Kanaev clearly did not know about the publication of Florinskii’s essays in Russian Word. His article was based on the 1866 book edition. He likely found a copy in the Leningrad Public Library and reproduced its title page in his article.88 According to Kanaev, Florinskii’s treatise was “about the principles of the rational reproduction of the human type, … to be exact, about the first approaches to the development of medical genetics that one hundred years ago had not existed even as a project” [63]. In Kanaev’s opinion, Florinskii was a “true pioneer,” since he did not know “the first works in the field of genetics” by Mendel and Galton and of Darwin’s works was familiar only with the Origin of Species. “In 1866, when Florinskii’s book was published,” the author stressed, “the birth of genetics as a science remained thirty-five years ahead and the paths of future human genetics were completely unknown.” “We need to remember,” Kanaev underscored:

that Florinskii believed in the widespread at that time doctrine of the inheritance of acquired characteristics [and] did not know even the basics of genetics, to say nothing of chromosomal heredity, the reduction of chromosomes [number in meiosis], mutations, and many other things from modern genetics, which nowadays are known even to school-children [65].

44Kanaev provided a detailed overview of the book’s contents illustrated by lengthy quotes. As had Volotskoi, he effectively “translated” Florinskii’s book for his readers, supplying each quote with comments (usually placed in brackets) that substituted current genetic terminology for Florinskii’s own words. Thus, he clarified, instead of Florinskii’s “hereditary potentials,” “we would say ‘genes’ or, even better, ‘the norm of reaction’,” and instead of “blood mixing” — “hybridization,” whilst such expressions as “stability and instability of a breed” apparently meant “homozygous and heterozygous breeds.” He especially noted that even when Florinskii’s used words familiar to the modern reader, such as “race,” “nation,” and “tribe,” “they are all very imprecise and their contents cannot be equated with their modern meanings” [64]. Kanaev went so far as to portray Florinskii’s “advice to prospective couples,” “imperfect as it was,” as a “pioneering attempt at creating a medico-genetic consultation in our country” [67]. Florinskii’s book had gained no recognition among his contemporaries and had not been republished during his lifetime, Kanaev observed, but “in 1926, Moscow geneticist M. V. Volotskoi reissued it,” supplying an introductory article and commentaries, which, he put elliptically, “do not always deserve praise” [68].

45On the following pages he explicated his disagreements with Volotskoi’s understanding of Florinskii’s treatise. In contrast to Volotskoi’s emphasis on the differences between Galton’s and Florinskii’s views, throughout his article Kanaev repeatedly drew parallels between Galton’s eugenics and Florinskii’s “marriage hygiene,” stressing that “much like Galton, Florinskii is interested in the protection of human hereditary health.” For instance, describing Florinskii’s notions of the inheritance of mental qualities, he claimed that the professor’s “arguments for the inheritance of mind and talents in essence are identical to those F. Galton used in his book ‘Hereditary Genius’ (1869), and, despite certain primitiveness deriving from the [low] level of contemporary science, as convincing [as Galton’s]” [66]. Furthermore, Kanaev declared that Florinskii’s concept of “marriage hygiene” “approximately coincides” with Galton’s “negative eugenics and modern medical genetics,” but the Russian professor did not write about “what Galton named ‘positive’ eugenics — the creation of a perfected stock exceeding the average norm” [68].

46Indeed, Kanaev directly refuted Volotskoi’s contrasting of “Florinskii’s system and Galton’s eugenics,” claiming that his predecessor “had falsely interpreted Galton’s ‘positive’ eugenics as an attempt to defend scientifically the ruling class of England as eugenically most valuable” [68]. “Florinskii’s book is important not only as a document from the history of science,” Kanaev declared, “It was an original, innovative for its time work, whose main idea (and not only that idea) — marriage hygiene — remains relevant to our times.” “Even though its author’s knowledge base is obsolete,” he concluded, “the progressive, democratic, and humanistic spirit that permeates this book echoes the pursuits of modern medical genetics” [68].

47Kanaev’s publications played an important role in the “rehabilitation” of eugenics as a legitimate subject in Soviet scientific discourse. They helped remove the stigma that had been attached to Galtonian eugenics and its proponents by labeling them “anti-Marxist,” “racist,” “fascist,” and “bourgeois.” They also restored Florinskii and his treatise to their prominent place — assigned to the book and its author by Volotskoi nearly half a century earlier — in the history of eugenics in Russia. Furthermore, Kanaev’s article effectively equated Galton’s and Florinskii’s ideas with those of modern medical genetics, presenting the pair of English and Russian “pioneers” as forerunners of the discipline.

  • 89 N. P. Bochkov, Genetika cheloveka (M.: Meditsina, 1978), pp. 11-12; see also idem, Geny i sud’by, (...)
  • 90 N. P. Bochkov, “Meditsinskaia genetika,” BME, 1980, 14: 1092-98.

48As a result of Kanaev’s publications, along with Galton’s, Florinskii’s name began to figure in accounts of the discipline’s history, for instance, in the 1978 textbook on Human Genetics, published by IMG director Bochkov.89 Indeed, the entry on “medical genetics” Bochkov wrote for the new edition of the Great Medical Encyclopedia stated unambiguously that “in the middle of the nineteenth century in Russia, V. M. Florinskii worked on the problems of hereditary diseases and human hereditary nature.”90 The spokesman for medical genetics proceeded to describe “English biologist F. Galton’s great impact on the development of medical genetics,” attributing to Galton the introduction of “a genealogical method, a twins method, and a statistical method into the studies of human heredity.” Furthermore, the encyclopedia’s entry on “hereditary diseases” declared unequivocally:

  • 91 Iu. E. Vel’tishchev and B. V. Koniukhov, “Nasledstvennye bolezni,” BME, 1981, 16: 183-88.

In 1866, V. M. Florinskii in his book “Human perfection and degeneration” gave a correct assessment of the role of external environment in the formation of hereditary characteristics, [as well as] of the detrimental influence of consanguineous marriages on progeny, [and] described the inheritance of a series of pathological traits (deaf-mutism, retinitis pigmentosa, albinism, harelip, and so on).91

  • 92 See E. I. Gusev, “Genealogicheskii metod,” BME, 1977, 5: 720-31; N. P. Bochkov, E. T. Lil’in, and (...)

49The entry also asserted that “English biologist F. Galton was the first to put forward the issue of human heredity as a subject of scientific research,” and, as did Bochkov’s entry, credited Galton with the introduction of modern methods “in the studies of human heredity.” Needless to say, special entries on these various methods in the same encyclopedia all duly acknowledged Galton’s contributions.92

  • 93 N. E. Granat, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” BME, 1985, 26: 1034-35. The entry was a slightly ex (...)
  • 94 V. P. Bisiarina and M. S. Maslov, “Pediatriia,” BME, 1982, 18: 1301-19 (p. 1307).

50The encyclopedia’s entry on Florinskii himself, however, did not mention Human Perfection and Degeneration, nor did it list the book among Florinskii’s publications, even though it did include Kanaev’s 1973 article in the list of “further readings.”93 It focused almost exclusively on the professor’s contributions to gynecology and obstetrics and referred readers to his dissertation and textbooks. Florinskii’s role in Russian pediatrics as the founder of the country’s first specialized pediatrics department at the IMSA was also briefly acknowledged in the corresponding entry.94

  • 95 In the early 1970s, Kanaev published brief accounts of research conducted at Levit’s Institute of (...)
  • 96 Alas, I was unable to obtain a copy of the manuscript that reportedly is still kept in the family.
  • 97 For concise depictions of the Brezhnev era, see William Tompson, The Soviet Union under Brezhnev ( (...)
  • 98 Around the same time, Nikolai Medvedev, another student of Filipchenko, experienced similar diffic (...)

51Kanaev’s work on Galton’s biography and on the article about Florinskii clearly piqued the geneticist-turned-historian’s interest in the history of eugenics, and Florinskii as part of that history. Perhaps, he even thought about writing a biography of Florinskii and/or reissuing Florinskii’s treatise. Indeed, he concluded his Priroda article with a plea to his readers to send him any information they might have about Florinskii and his work. We do not know whether anyone answered this plea. But, reportedly, during the 1970s, Kanaev did write a voluminous manuscript providing a general outline of, and detailing various episodes in, the history of eugenics and human genetics in Russia,95 which probably included a chapter on Florinskii and Human Perfection and Degeneration.96 His attempt to publish this manuscript with Nauka, however, proved futile. The “renaissance” atmosphere of the Thaw was by this time long gone, replaced with the deadening “stagnation” of the Brezhnev era.97 Reportedly, the censor demanded that Kanaev rewrite his “objectivizing” account of still suspect eugenics. He refused and withdrew the manuscript.98 In 1984, after a long illness Kanaev passed away and his history of eugenics never saw the light of day.

52But his Priroda article on Florinskii became a spark that reignited the interest in this long-forgotten historical figure and eventually led to a new edition of Florinskii’s treatise some twenty years later.

Florinskii in Post-Soviet Russia

  • 99 For a succinct overview of the war, see Mark Galeotti, Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009 (Oxford (...)
  • 100 For informative introductions to political and economic developments in Russia, see Michael McFaul (...)

53Just a few months after Kanaev’s death, his homeland was engulfed in a new revolution. In the spring of 1985, the General Secretary of the Communist Party Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political, economic, and social reforms that became known as perestroika. A major geo-political result of perestroika was the “end” of the Cold War and the disintegration of the so-called Soviet bloc — epitomized by the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Two years later, in 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics itself fell apart. Its constituent republics became independent states. The largest — the Russian Federation — emerged as the de jure heir to the Soviet Union, and its first elected president Boris Yeltsin as the champion of further political and economic reforms. The Communist Party was “banned” and new “democratic” institutions and procedures replaced the party-state apparatus’s tight administrative hegemony over all facets of life. Initiated by the Bolsheviks, the “Great Experiment” of building socialism was abandoned. The country rapidly slid into the chaos of rampant capitalism that shredded the very fabric of its economic, political, and social life. The dissolution of the Soviet Union weakened the Moscow-based central institutions’ control over the regions. It also reignited long-smoldering inter-ethnic tensions, brutally manifested in the first Chechen War of 1994-1996.99 The country’s economy was shattered (with its GDP falling more than fifty per cent during the 1990s) and its population impoverished, while a small number of oligarchs and organized criminal gangs made gigantic fortunes by “privatizing” its assets and pillaging its resources.100 On the eve of the new millennium, faced with failing health, economic collapse, and renewed military conflict in Chechnya, Yeltsin resigned, appointing Vladimir Putin as his successor.

54The former head of the Federal Security Service (FSB, the successor of the KGB), only a few months earlier, in August 1999, promoted by Yeltsin to the post of Prime Minister, Putin thus became acting president of the Russian Federation. In March 2000, he won the next presidential election. Putin began consolidating the power of central authorities over the country’s regions, strengthening the Russian military and security services, reining in the oligarchs and criminal gangs, and establishing control over the State Duma (the country’s highest legislative body) and the mass media. It was during these fearful aftershocks of the Soviet system’s demise that Florinskii’s treatise was republished, first in 1995 and then again in 2012.

  • 101 See, for instance, Donald J. Raleigh, ed., Soviet Historians and Perestroika: The First Phase (Lon (...)
  • 102 On the demise of Soviet censorship in the late 1980s and early 1990s, see the published materials (...)
  • 103 See, for instance, four volumes of historical materials published during 1992-93 under the general (...)

55The radical transformations of the country’s political, economic, ideological, and social landscapes generated a new wave of interest in eugenics — its history, its current issues, and its future promises. During perestroika the interest in the history of eugenics had become an integral part of the re-evaluation of the country’s historical past. As had Alexander II during the Great Reforms more than a century earlier, Gorbachev actively promoted glasnost’as a main instrument in gathering popular support for his reforms and an important feedback mechanism in articulating the country’s future trajectory. “Rethinking the country’s past” and “filling gaps” in its historical record became the main preoccupation not only of scholarship, but also of literary fiction, cinema, theater, and the media.101 With the censorship system in disarray,102 numerous previously unmentionable subjects — from the 1920s purges and the personalities of the country’s rulers to the horrors of the Gulag and the country’s economic, political, and social development under the tsars — now commanded close attention.103

56The disintegration of the Soviet Union prompted a “revision” of the uniformly negative portrayal (or simply total silence), which had characterized the official Soviet histories of events, individuals, ideas, and institutions of the imperial past, and its replacement with similarly uncritical and exalted praise. At the same time, the celebratory accounts of the Bolshevik Revolution and its impact on life in the country were reversed and the entire Soviet period uniformly painted in bleak colors. Bringing back “forgotten history” and tracing “historical roots” became a major means of searching for a new identity and a possible future not only for the country as a whole, but also for individuals and social groups — families, generations, professions, ethnicities, religious confessions, and so on.

  • 104 See M. B. Konashev, “Biuro po evgenike, 1922-1930,” Issledovaniia po genetike, 1994, 11: 22-28; D. (...)

57In the history of Soviet science one such gap waiting to be filled was the history of eugenics. As one would have expected, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, several IIET scholars in both Moscow and St. Petersburg (in 1991 Leningrad regained its original name) began publishing articles on various facets of this history in their professional journals.104

58But it was not just the history of eugenics that now commanded attention. Eugenics itself became a subject of intense interest to various individuals and groups, to whom glasnost’ gave an opportunity to publicly express their views. Perestroika and the subsequent breakup of the Soviet Union generated a number of dire health and demographic consequences, ranging from sharply increased mortality and lowered life-expectancy (especially among men) to rapidly falling fertility rates and a deteriorating epidemiological situation in regards to both old scourges, like TB, diphtheria, and syphilis, and new diseases, such as AIDS. Spurred by the breakdown of the country’s public health and welfare systems, these “social ills” raised the specter of “degeneration” and, with it, interest in eugenics as a suitable instrument of arresting the degeneration and promoting the “revitalization” of the nation.

Fig. 7-3. The coverpage of the second issue of Soviet Eugenics, 1991. The inscription states that the journal is “recommended to biologists, evolutionary geneticists, breeders, anthropologists, physicians, psychologists, demographers, sociologists, economists, historians, party and state officials.” Courtesy of BAN.

  • 105 For a brief account of Motkov’s life and work, see Iakov Pravdin, “Posviatil zhizn’probleme uluchs (...)
  • 106 S. E. Motkov, “Vvedenie,” Sovetskaia evgenika, 1991, 1: 1-3 (p. 1).

59A new “scientific-publicist journal,” boldly titled Soviet Eugenics, that appeared in early 1991 in Kazan offers an illuminating example (see fig. 7-3). The journal was published, edited, and largely written by Stanislav Motkov, an engineer by education and occupation.105 As he stated in the editorial that opened its first issue, the journal’s main goal was “to evaluate economic, political, and social consequences of the genetic degradation of the population of the Soviet Union and to elaborate recommendations for the restoration and improvement of [the country’s] genofond.”106 The main thesis advanced by Motkov in his numerous articles echoed that of early eugenicists — natural selection had stopped working in human populations and thus their hereditary quality must be maintained and improved by some form of artificial selection. Although Motkov managed to publish only two issues of his journal before the USSR dissolved, he continued his eugenics propaganda in the local press.

  • 107 See, for instance, S. Gershenzon and T. Buzhievskaia, “Evgenika: 100 let spustia,” Chelovek, 1996, (...)
  • 108 For the transcript of the discussion, see “Ne khotim byt’klonami (Problemy sovremennoi evgeniki),”(...)

60Soviet Eugenics was but an amateurish and short-lived attempt at bringing eugenics into public discussions of perceived social problems in emerging post-Soviet Russia. Just a few years later, the subject figured prominently on the pages of Man, a new popular-science magazine, established in 1990 by the Academy of Sciences.107 In February 1996, the magazine’s editorial board organized a special roundtable discussion on “issues in modern eugenics” and invited leading specialists in medical genetics to participate.108 The major reason for convening the roundtable was the recent introduction of several new biomedical techniques — primarily cloning — which seemed to promise an effective intervention in human reproduction, and as such strongly resonated with eugenics. The discussion echoed and heavily referenced similar debates in the West, and indeed, was published under the title “We Don’t Want to Be Clones” that, according to one of the discussants, was a tongue-in-cheek slogan of US geneticists opposed to human cloning.

  • 109 “Nauka, kotoraia sebia izzhila. Beseda s N. P. Bochkovym,” Chelovek, 1997, 2: 20-30. Both the mate (...)
  • 110 See F. Gal’ton, Nasledstvennost’ talanta: Zakony i posledstviia (M.: Mysl’, 1996).
  • 111 I. I. Kanaev, “Frensis Gal’ton (1822-1911),” in idem, Izbrannye trudy po istorii nauki (SPb.: Alet (...)

61A few months later, the journal expanded the discussion by publishing the transcript of a lengthy interview conducted by the journal’s correspondent with Nikolai Bochkov, the acknowledged leader of and spokesman for medical genetics, who had been unable to attend the February roundtable at the journal’s office. The transcript’s title, “A Science That Has Outlived Itself,” effectively summarized Bochkov’s position. He likened eugenics to alchemy and claimed that medical genetics has surpassed and overtaken eugenics in developing effective methods of both protecting human hereditary health from degeneration and improving humanity’s hereditary makeup.109 The same year, in a clear attempt to capitalize on current interest in the subject, a Moscow publisher issued (without any commentaries) a facsimile edition of the 1874 Russian translation of Galton’s Hereditary Genius.110 Three years later, Kanaev’s biography of Galton was republished also.111

  • 112 See V. V. Babkov, “Meditsinskaia genetika v SSSR,” Vestnik RAN, 2001, 71(10): 928-37; idem, “Moskv (...)
  • 113 See, for instance, R. A. Fando, “Polemika o sud’be evgeniki,” VIET, 2002, 3: 604-17.
  • 114 See V. Babkov, Zaria genetiki cheloveka (M.: Progress-Traditsiia, 2008).

62The 1990s discussions of “issues in modern eugenics” stimulated further interest in the history of eugenics in Russia, which rapidly accelerated in the next decade.112 In addition to historical studies, a number of original works by the Russian proponents of eugenics were republished, along with some relevant archival materials.113 Thus, in 2008, an 800-page volume, promisingly titled The Dawn of Human Genetics: The Russian Eugenics Movement and the Beginning of Medical Genetics, appeared in Moscow. Compiled by Vasilii Babkov, an IIET historian of genetics, the book — despite the promise of its title — was merely a reprint of about forty articles and a few archival documents from the 1920s and 1930s.114 Supplied with extensive, but not always accurate commentaries by its editor, the volume reproduced the eugenic works by Soviet geneticists (Filipchenko, Kol’tsov, Levit, Serebrovskii and their students) and anthropologists (Volotskoi and Bunak). Works by representatives of other disciplines and specialities involved with eugenics, from jurisprudence to social hygiene to psychiatry (such as Liublinskii, Sysin, and Iudin), found no place on its pages.

  • 115 E. V. Pchelov, ed., Rodoslovnaia genial’nosti: iz istorii otechestvennoi nauki 1920-kh gg. (M.: St (...)
  • 116 Fando, Proshloe nauki budushchego.
  • 117 See R. A. Fando, “Tragicheskaia sud’ba othechestvennoi evgeniki,” in Nauka i tekhnika v pervye des (...)

63The same year, another 400-page volume, titled The Genealogy of Genius: From the History of 1920s Science, reprinted 25 articles published by Russian eugenicists. Compiled by Evgenii Pchelov, a historian at the Russian State Humanities University, the volume included only the works that dealt with “eugenic genealogies” collected by RES members. The book was supplemented by an introduction by its editor, which explored the relations between eugenics and genealogy as a historical discipline.115 Finally, in 2014, the first book-length examination of the history of eugenics in the Soviet Union written by Roman Fando, another IIET historian, came out.116 All of this literature focused almost exclusively on documenting the development of eugenics during the early Soviet period, its “transformation” into medical genetics in the early 1930s, and the subsequent destruction of genetics. Florinskii and his treatise were at best only briefly (if at all) mentioned in these accounts of the “tragic fate of eugenics” in Soviet Russia, as one of the authors put it in his title.117

The Forefather of Eugenics, a.k.a. Medical Genetics

  • 118 E. V. Iastrebov, Bibliografiia opublikovannykh trudov Vasiliia Markovicha Florinskogo (M.: n. p., (...)

64Yet, the rising wave of new “revisionist” histories did catch Florinskii in its wake. In 1990, the Military-Medical Academy publicly acknowledged his role in establishing the institution’s first children’s clinics and pediatric department by issuing a special commemorative medal (see fig. 7-4). And just five years later, a new edition of Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration was issued under the auspices of the very university he had built in Tomsk more than a century earlier. The new “resurrection” of Florinskii’s treatise was prompted by extensive efforts of Evgenii Iastrebov (1923-2003), a retired Moscow geographer, who in the early 1990s produced a whole series of publications on Florinskii, including a complete bibliography of his works, a substantial biography, a collection of his correspondence, and a sketch of his work at the Imperial Medical-Surgical Academy.118

Fig. 7-4. A bronze medal, commemorating Vasilii Florinskii. The artist A. Shamaev, 1990. The author’s collection. The medal’s obverse (a) presents a portrait of Florinskii loosely modelled after his photograph taken in Paris (see fig. 1-4) with an inscription: “the founder of the country’s first pediatrics department, 1865.” The medal’s reverse (b) carries a stylized image of the main building of the Military-Medical Academy, with inscription “Founded in 1798.” Sometime in the 1940s, the British Eugenics Society issued a “Galton Gold Medal” awarded “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the study of eugenics and unremitting service to the Society.” As far as I was able to determine, it was awarded only twice: in 1946 to Alexander Carr-Saunders, the Society’s one time President, and in 1957 to C. P. Blacker, for many years the Society’s General Secretary. Alas, my efforts to find the medal, its photograph, or even its description failed.

  • 119 See, for instance, a brief biography of his maternal grandfather in N. A. Medvedeva, “K biografii (...)

65Why would a geographer put so much effort into investigating and publicizing the life story of a gynecologist? Iastrebov’s initial interest in Florinskii was intensely personal. As did many of his compatriots during perestroika, he got deeply involved in uncovering the “forgotten history” of his own family: his older brother had perished in Stalin’s Gulag, while many of his relatives had come from the clergy and had been persecuted, facts unmentionable during the Soviet era.119 But he got particularly interested in a very distant relative — the younger brother of his maternal great-great-grandmother Maria Kokosova (née Florinskaia), Vasilii Florinskii (see fig. 7-5). Iastrebov’s interest was apparently spurred not only by the “blood relation” between the two men, but also by the shared affection for their common “little motherland” — the Urals and Western Siberia.

  • 120 Before the war, the Urals University did not have a geography department. On the early history of (...)
  • 121 See his memoirs on the subject in E. V. Iastrebov, “O Borise Pavloviche Kolesnikove i pervykh shag (...)

66Iastrebov was born in 1923 to a family of school teachers in Ekaterinburg (which would be renamed Sverdlovsk the very next year and regain its original name in 1991), less than 200 kilometers from Florinskii’s beloved Peski, virtually in the “same neighbourhood,” according to “Siberian standards” that habitually measure distances in thousands of kilometers. Just as he finished high school, the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. As did millions of his compatriots, the eighteen-year-old joined the army and went to the front. Twice seriously wounded (the last time during the famous battle of Stalingrad) and discharged from the army on medical grounds, the young man returned to his hometown, set on continuing his education. Since childhood he had dreamed of traveling, especially of exploring his homeland — the still uncharted territories of the Urals and Siberia. Unexpectedly, the horrible war helped his childhood dream come true: at the beginning of the war, the renowned geography school of Moscow University (created in the 1930s on the basis of Anuchin’s geography department) had been evacuated to Sverdlovsk and merged with the local Urals University.120 The war veteran became a student of geography. The next year, the geography school returned to Moscow and Iastrebov went with it. But after receiving his diploma in 1947, the young geographer came back to his home city and continued with graduate studies at the Urals University. Four years later, he defended a dissertation on the geomorphology of one of the numerous local rivers and began working at the Urals Branch of the Academy of Sciences and the Urals University, eventually becoming the dean of its geography faculty and one of the leaders of environmental protection in the region.121

  • 122 See, for instance, his popular publications, E. V. Iastrebov, Po reke Chusovoi, 2nd ed. (Sverdlovs (...)

67In 1955, the Urals University geography faculty was relocated to Tomsk and Iastrebov became an associate professor at the very university his “ancestor” had created. Perhaps it was during his time in Tomsk that he learned of Florinskii’s role as the founder of Tomsk University and supervisor of the Western Siberia educational region, which by that time had been all but obliterated from “official” historical memory. In 1961, Iastrebov transferred to the geography faculty of the Moscow Regional Pedagogical Institute but continued his research on geography, geomorphology, and environmental protection in the Urals and Western Siberia.122 Busy with his teaching and research — he spent every summer taking his students on expeditions throughout the country — he had very little time to pursue his “historical hobby.” But it seems likely that Kanaev’s 1973 article rekindled his early interest in Florinskii. As Iastrebov’s biography of Florinskii makes clear, in 1976 he traveled to Kazan for the first time to study the collection of his relative’s papers held at the local museum.

  • 123 A collection of Iastrebov’s personal papers deposited in the state archive of the Sverdlovsk regio (...)
  • 124 Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii, p. 6.

68In 1986, after 25 years of teaching at the Pedagogical Institute, Iastrebov retired. Now he could devote much more time to investigating his family’s history, and especially Florinskii’s.123 Undoubtedly, the general atmosphere of “rethinking the country’s past” fueled his interest and deeply influenced his general attitude to the subject of his studies. As Iastrebov pointedly remarked in the foreword to Florinskii’s biography, “Vasilii Markovich is one of those individuals whose names under the Soviet regime have deliberately been disremembered and undeservedly erased from the history of Russian science and education.” “In 1980, during the centennial celebrations of the Tomsk University founding,” he observed indignantly, Florinskii’s “name was not mentioned even once.”124 He set out to correct this historical injustice.

  • 125 See GASO, f. R-2787, op. 1, d. 119, ll. 1-226.

69Over the next few years, in search of relevant materials, Iastrebov diligently worked in archives and libraries in Moscow, Leningrad, Perm, Tomsk, and Kazan. He compiled an extensive bibliography of Florinskii’s publications, which included more than 300 items and, for the first time, identified Russian Word as the venue of the original publication of Human Perfection and Degeneration. He collected numerous documents and photographs, illustrating various facets of Florinskii’s life and career, and began working on a book-length manuscript. In describing Florinskii’s life story, Iastrebov focused largely on the prominent role his “ancestor” had played in the founding of Tomsk University and the development of science and education in Siberia more generally, devoting nearly three quarters of his book to the subject. Indeed, he initially titled the manuscript “Vasilii Markovich Florinskii and Tomsk University.”125

Fig. 7-5. Evgenii Iastrebov’s “family tree” that demonstrates his relations to Vasilii Florinskii. Following the customary rules of “eugenic” genealogies, the male members of the family are represented by squares, female by circles. The tree starts with Florinskii’s parents Mark Florinskii and Maria Andreeva, followed by Vasilii Florinskii and his older sister Maria (omitting all other siblings). The square representing Vasilii Florinskii has a boxed comment: “this book is about him and his contemporaries,” while the last square on the diagram, representing Iastrebov, identifies him as “the author of the present book.” From E. Iastrebov, ed., Sto neizvestnykh pisem russkikh uchenykh i gosudarstvennykh deiatelei Vasiliiu Markovichu Florinskomu (Tomsk: Izd-vo Tomskogo Universiteta, 1995), p. 6. Courtesy of BAN.

  • 126 See, for instance, David M. Woodruff, Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism (Ith (...)

70In 1992, Iastrebov published a brochure with the bibliography of Florinskii’s works and began looking for a publisher for Florinskii’s biography. Finding one, however, turned out not to be an easy task. By that time the disintegration of the Soviet Union, combined with Yeltsin’s “privatization” campaign, had decimated Russia’s economy. Economic ties among the regions had broken down, raw materials were in short supply everywhere, and the old “planned” system of the production and distribution of manufactured goods collapsed. A new “market” economy was geared to selling anything and everything the country could offer to foreign markets at cut-rate prices. Hyperinflation made the money nearly worthless and almost the entire domestic economy reverted to a barter system.126

  • 127 See the data on the series compiled in Z. K. Sokolovskaia and V. I. Sokolovskii, 550 knig ob uchen (...)
  • 128 See V. A. Makarov, Ivan Timofeevich Glebov (M.: Nauka, 1995).

71The publishing industry — hit hard by acute shortages of paper, binding materials, and even ink, as well as by the rapidly dwindling purchasing power of its customers and the near total destruction of its distribution networks — barely survived by drastically cutting down both the number and print runs of books it produced. At the same time, the breakdown of the state’s monopoly over the printing press spurred the emergence of numerous commercial publishing outlets geared to making quick profit by playing to the demands of the market and the needs of the new political and economic order. Needless to say, scholarly publishing suffered the most. To give but one example, during the 1990s, as compared to the preceding decade, the number of titles issued by Nauka in its famous biographical series (in which Kanaev’s biography of Galton had appeared) dropped by more than fifty per cent, while the median print run for each book fell from 15,000 to just 300 to 500 copies.127 For instance, the biography of Ivan Glebov, Florinskii’s mentor at the Institute of Young Doctors, came out in 1995 with a print run of only 180 copies.128

72Under these conditions who would be interested in producing the biography of an obscure historical figure? Iastrebov published his bibliography of Florinskii’s works at his own expense, covering the production costs for 500 copies from his own pocket. The biography, however, was much larger and included more than twenty illustrations, which would have raised its production costs considerably. The retired geographer, whose generous (by Soviet standards) pension had by that time been reduced to virtually nothing by inflation, simply had no means to pay for its publication.

  • 129 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Predislovie,” in Iastrebov, Sto neizvestnykh pisem, pp. 3-7.
  • 130 Although his name as the actual publisher of the new edition does not figure in the book’s bibliog (...)

73Perhaps, Iastrebov’s biography of Florinskii would have remained unpublished and eventually ended up in the Sverdlovsk regional archive along with many other manuscripts he has written during the 1990s, if it were not for Valerii Puzyrev, director of the Tomsk Institute of Medical Genetics. It was Puzyrev who managed to marshal the necessary resources to publish Iastrebov’s biography of Florinskii under the trademark of Tomsk University Press in the summer of 1994. He also helped Iastrebov publish a collection of Florinskii’s correspondence and wrote a laudatory foreword for the volume that appeared the next year.129 And it was Puzyrev who spearheaded the publication of a new edition of Florinskii’s treatise.130

  • 131 Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii, p. 130.

74Unlike Iastrebov’s, Puzyrev’s interest in Florinskii was not personal, but professional. Although Iastrebov did include Human Perfection and Degeneration in Florinskii’s bibliography, he mentioned the treatise in Florinskii’s biography only in passing, merely as an example of his hero’s varied activities as a scientist.131 For medical geneticist Puzyrev, however, this particular book represented the pinnacle of Florinskii’s works, for he was well aware of the professor’s reputation as a “founder” of his own specialty, which had been promoted by its historian Kanaev and its spokesman Bochkov.

  • 132 See a brief biography published on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, “Puzyrev Valerii Pavlovi (...)
  • 133 The following story is based to a certain degree on my correspondence and conversations with Valeri (...)
  • 134 V. P. Puzyrev, “Kliniko-genealogicheskoe i biokhimicheskoe issledovanie nasledstvennoi predraspolo (...)

75As for other physicians of his generation, Puzyrev’s decision to become a geneticist was inspired and enabled by the revival of medical genetics in the Soviet Union.132 Born in 1947, Puzyrev graduated from Novosibirsk Medical Institute in 1971. The “genetics renaissance” was in full swing, with Novosibirsk emerging as the country’s leading center of genetics research, rivaling the old genetics hubs in Moscow and Leningrad, and the young physician decided to specialize in the exciting new field of medical genetics.133 He started graduate studies at his alma mater, working on a dissertation devoted to the role of heredity in heart disease.134 According to Puzyrev’s recollections, in 1973 he read with great interest Kanaev’s article on the history of his chosen discipline and Florinskii as its “founding father.” As it happened, that very year, Puzyrev went to Moscow for a few weeks to work and study at the country’s leading center of his future specialty — the AMN Institute of Medical Genetics directed by Bochkov. Out of curiosity, he decided to look up Florinskii’s book. He found a copy in the Lenin State Library and over two evenings he read it from cover to cover. But, upon return to Novosibirsk, swamped with work, he all but forgot about the “founder of medical genetics” and his treatise. After successfully defending his dissertation, the young geneticist continued his career as an assistant professor at his alma mater. He also came to head a brand new “medico-genetic laboratory” just created at the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine of the AMN Siberian Branch.

  • 135 For a brief history of the institute, see its official website at http://www.medgenetics.ru/about/ (...)
  • 136 Certain elements of this gigantic project, largely those carried out by the Moscow IMG, are descri (...)
  • 137 See, for instance, V. P. Puzyrev, Mediko-geneticheskoe islledovanie naseleniia pripoliarnykh regio (...)

76In 1981, the Moscow IMG established a branch of the institute in Tomsk, and Puzyrev was invited to head it.135 The move to Tomsk reawakened his interest in Florinskii. In the Tomsk University Library he found a copy of Florinskii’s 1866 book. To his surprise, it has never been read — its pages remained uncut! He made several copies and distributed them among his co-workers. But pursuing the distant history of his profession was not high on the list of his current priorities: he was busy with research and administrative work. In 1986, he managed to reconstitute his “branch” as a separate Institute of Medical Genetics, which became the second institution of its kind in the country, responsible for both research and “medico-genetic consultations” in the whole of Siberia. Puzyrev spearheaded extensive studies on the geno-geography of various populations in Siberia, ranging from the Far East to its polar regions.136 Part of this enormous project formed the basis of his doctoral dissertation on “medico-genetic study of the populations of the circumpolar regions,” defended in 1987.137 In recognition of his role in developing medical genetics in Siberia, in 1993 the AMN elected him a corresponding member (see fig. 7-6).

  • 138 See Puzyrev’s correspondence with Iastrebov in GASO, f. R-2787, op. 1, d. 213, ll. 1-12.

77It was around this very time that Puzyrev learned about Iastrebov’s work on Florinskii’s biography, which apparently reignited the geneticist’s interest in the history of his profession and its “founder.”138 He spared no effort in helping Iastrebov publish his findings.

Fig. 7-6. Photograph of Valerii Puzyrev, c.2000. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of V. Puzyrev.

  • 139 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Granitsy chelovecheskoi zhizni (V. M. Florinskii: sovremennoe zvuchanie myslei (...)

78Furthermore, he himself got deeply engaged in popularizing Florinskii’s life and works. The next year, the 160th anniversary of Florinskii’s birth offered Puzyrev a convenient occasion for waging a veritable campaign for promoting Florinskii as a “founder of medical genetics.” He commissioned a local artist to paint a large portrait of Florinskii for the entry hall of the Tomsk IMG. He delivered talks at various conferences and published articles on Florinskii in the popular press and specialized journals.139 An apex of this campaign was a new edition of Florinskii’s book issued in the fall of 1995 by Tomsk University Press with a print run of 500 copies.

  • 140 Iastrebov misdated the photograph as being taken in 1861.

79A slim paperback printed on cheap paper, the new edition differed from the one prepared by Volotskoi some seventy years earlier not only in its outward appearance (see fig. 7-7). Following his biographer’s discovery that Florinskii’s book had first come out in Russian Word, the new edition reproduced the complete text of Florinskii’s essays published in the journal, preserving the structure, paragraphing, and references of the original. It opened with a photograph of its author, taken in 1862 in Paris (see fig. 1-4), which Iastrebov found among Florinskii’s papers in Kazan.140 Typeset anew to correspond to the rules and spellings of current Russian usage, the new edition diverged from the original in only three other minor features. Following the titles and subtitles of the original essays, its editor generated a table of contents for the book. He also inserted two new subtitles: “Introduction” for the first three pages of the treatise and “The Influence of Consanguineous Marriages” for the last 25. Finally, all the italics its author had placed in the original to highlight certain points and thoughts were removed, probably as a result of available typesetting and printing technology rather than deliberate editing.

Fig. 7-7. The title page of the third edition of Vasilii Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration, published by Puzyrev in 1995 with Tomsk University Press. Courtesy of V. Puzyrev.

80Unlike his predecessor Volotskoi, Puzyrev did not “translate” the text for its readers: the book contained no editorial comments at all. Instead, he used various extra-textual supplements to illuminate its contemporary import. Thus a “blurb” on the back of the front cover stated that the book’s purpose was to acquaint modern readers with “eugenic views of its author, presented simultaneously with the ‘father’ of eugenics, English scientist F. Galton.” “Factual material used by Florinskii to substantiate his concept of ‘marriage hygiene’,” the blurb stressed, “will be of interest to today’s researchers in the fields of medicine, population genetics, anthropology, ethnography, medical genetics, and the history of science.” A brief unsigned “afterword” on the last page elaborated: “Many concerns, which had troubled its author in the previous century, are now the subject of scientific research at the laboratories of the [Tomsk] Institute of Medical Genetics”. It itemized these putatively “mid-nineteenth century” concerns as “the ethnogenesis and the genetics of various peoples and ethnicities in Siberia, the influence of consanguineous marriages on the population’s health, the epidemiology of hereditary diseases, medico-genetic consultations, and so on.”

  • 141 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Evgenicheskie vzgliady V. M. Florinskogo na ‘usovershenstvovanie i vyrozhdenie (...)
  • 142 K. Garver and B. Garver, “Proekt ‘Genom cheloveka’ i evgenicheskie problemy,” in Florinskii, 1995, (...)
  • 143 V. P. Puzyrev, “About V. M. Florinskii and his Book ‘Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Rac (...)

81Furthermore, Puzyrev supplemented Florinskii’s text with three appendices. The first was his own report, titled “Eugenic Views of F. M. Florinskii on ‘The Improvement and Degeneration of Humankind,” delivered to a large conference on “The health of the population in Russia” held in Novosibirsk the previous summer.141 The second was a Russian translation of the article on “The Human Genome Project and Eugenic Concerns” published a year earlier in the American Journal of Human Genetics by Pittsburgh University geneticists Kenneth L. Garver and Bettylee Garver.142 And the third was a four-page English-language abstract of Puzyrev’s article on Florinskii’s book.143 In his texts Puzyrev particularly praised Florinskii’s innovative approach to “marriage hygiene” and the professor’s clear formulation of “the important role heredity plays in human health.” He also noted that Mendel, Galton, and Florinskii had all published their path-breaking works in the same year — 1865 — and stated that the trio “had defined the path from eugenics to medical genetics.”

  • 144 On the debate, see Kenneth L. Garver and Bettylee Garver, “Eugenics: Past, Present, and the Future (...)
  • 145 See V. P. Puzyrev, “‘Physiological laws of heredity’ by V. M. Florinsky,” Brazilian Journal of Gen (...)
  • 146 V. P. Puzyrev, About V. M. Florinsky and his Book “Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Raсe” (...)
  • 147 V. P. Puzyrev, “‘Hygiene of Marriage’ Concept (to the 130th Anniversary of Publishing ‘Improvement (...)
  • 148 V. P. Puzyrev, “Vol’nosti genoma i meditsinskaia patogenetika,” Biulleten’sibirskoi meditsiny, 200 (...)

82The main point of Puzyrev’s articles, as well as of the entire project of re-publishing Florinskii’s book, however, clearly was not the history, but the present state, of his specialty. Taken together, the three appendices placed Florinskii’s treatise squarely within the context of the renewed international debates on eugenics spurred by the rapid development of human genetics during the previous decades, and, especially, the inauguration of the Human Genome Project.144 The next year, at the Ninth International Congress on Human Genetics held in August 1996 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Puzyrev presented a poster on Florinskii’s “physiological laws of heredity.”145 He also distributed among the congress participants an eight-page booklet in English about Florinskii’s book146 and published a brief note on Florinskii’s concept of “marriage hygiene” in the European Journal of Human Genetics.147 In December 2001, Puzyrev delivered an inaugural lecture to the Scientific Council of Tomsk Medical University, celebrating the establishment two years earlier of its first medical genetics department.148 Titled “The Frivolities of Genome and Medical Pathogenetics,” the lecture opened with a special section on the “Tomsk footprint in the development of classical genetics.” Puzyrev referred to the new edition of Florinskii’s treatise, presenting the professor’s “physiological laws of heredity” and his concept of “marriage hygiene” as “essential contributions to the development of the doctrine of heredity.”

  • 149 The only brief notice I found has appeared in a footnote on Florinskii in the introduction to Pche (...)
  • 150 See E. V. Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii v Peterburgskoi medikokhirurgicheskoi akademii ( (...)

83Yet despite all of these efforts, the new edition of Florinskii’s treatise went virtually unnoticed, both in his homeland and abroad.149 Indeed, it seems that the book did not even make it outside of Siberia: I could not find a single copy in any of the major research libraries in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Aside from Puzyrev’s articles, the only author who mentioned it was Iastrebov. In 1999, Iastrebov published a 100-page addition to his biography of Florinskii, which detailed the twenty years his ancestor had spent at the IMSA, first as a student and then as a professor.150 This time he devoted two pages to Human Perfection and Degeneration, listing its four separate editions (1865, 1866, 1926, and 1995) and repeating Puzyrev’s characterization of the treatise’s contemporary import. The brochure was issued, apparently at the author’s expense, only in fifty copies. But since it was printed in Moscow, it did make it into the major research libraries. Still, its publication also went completely unnoticed.

  • 151 See, for instance, A. A. Sechenova, “Vasilii Markovich Florinskii — pervyi popechitel’Zapadno-Sibi (...)
  • 152 V. P. Puzyrev, “V. M. Florinskii i Tomskoe obshchestvo estestvoispytatelei,” Sibirskii meditsinski (...)
  • 153 See, Iu. A. Ozheredov, “Nauchnaia konferentsiia, posviashchennaia 130-letiiu muzeia arkheologii i (...)

84Certainly, Iastrebov’s and Puzyrev’s publications stirred some interest in Florinskii and his works. But this interest appears to have been confined to Siberia and its regional community of historians. Indeed, over the next decade, publications on Florinskii’s role as the founder of Tomsk University and his efforts to promote science and education in Siberia came out in various scholarly journals issued in Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, and Kurgan.151 In 1999 Puzyrev himself published in the Siberian Medical Journal an article about Florinskii’s role in establishing the Tomsk Society of Physicians and Naturalists — the first scientific society in Siberia.152 In 2003, Tomsk University even named its Archeological Museum after its founder, Vasilii Florinskii.153 But in all this extensive historical and commemorative activity, Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration and his “eugenic views” found no place.

  • 154 Florinskii, 2012, pp. 44-134.

85They did find a place in an entirely different domain, however. In 2012, Florinskii’s treatise became the opening piece in a massive Reader on Russian Eugenics, issued as part of the notorious “Library of Racial Thought,” established by the self-styled “racial encyclopedist” and “bio-politician” Vladimir Avdeev (b. 1962).154

The Founder of “Racial” Eugenics

  • 155 Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-193 (...)
  • 156 See, for instance, Marlène Laruelle, Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire (Baltimore, MD: Jo (...)

86Avdeev’s path to (re)publishing Florinskii’s treatise was quite circuitous and is illustrative of a general trend that characterized much of the intellectual milieu of post-Soviet Russia. The disintegration of the Soviet Union had not only dire political and economic consequences, but also ideological ones. It led to the flaring up of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional tensions that had long been brewing in the “affirmative action empire” (to use US historian Terry Martin’s catchy phrase) under the pressure of its proclaimed internationalism and militant atheism.155 The crumbling of official “Marxist” ideology triggered a desperate search for a new ideology that could guide the state-building efforts and geopolitical maneuvers of the newborn Russian Federation, on the one hand, and help forge a new collective identity for its diverse populations, on the other. This search enthralled countless individuals and took numerous forms. Vastly divergent doctrines competed for the role of such new ideology, from “eurasianism” and “neo-paganism” to Orthodox Christianity dogmata to the multiple shades of rabid nationalism, as contrary as “national-bolshevism” and “national-capitalism.”156 Forged mostly from the long-forgotten writings of nineteenth-and early twentieth-century Russian philosophers, theologians, scholars, and political thinkers, a wide variety of “new” ideological constructs percolated in the public conscience of post-Soviet Russia.

  • 157 On the place of raciology among other contemporary ideological constructs, see Mark Bassin, “‘What (...)
  • 158 For Avdeev’s “literary and scientific biography” up to 2012, published on the occasion of his fift (...)
  • 159 See, V. B. Avdeev, Strasti po Gabrieliu (M.: Stolitsa, 1990); and idem, Protezist (Kharkov: n. p., (...)
  • 160 After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Union of Soviet Writers (established at (...)
  • 161 V. B. Avdeev, Preodolenie khristianstva (M.: Kap’, 1994). The book was reprinted in 2006 and 2011 (...)
  • 162 Avdeev later collected many of these early articles into a single volume published under the ambig (...)
  • 163 For a detailed general analysis of racism in contemporary Russia and the role of Avdeev in its pop (...)

87One such construct was the “science of raciology (rasologiia)” concocted by Avdeev.157 An electrical engineer by training and occupation, during perestroika Avdeev felt Calliope’s calling and published several poems in newspapers and magazines.158 In the early 1990s he also published two novels of “intellectual prose,”159 which went unnoticed by either critics or readers, but earned him membership in the “patriotic” Writers Union of Russia.160 He thus became a professional writer, but poetry and fiction did not hold his attention for long. In 1994, he published a manifesto of “neo-paganism,” pretentiously titled The Overcoming of Christianity.161 During the next few years, the former engineer contributed numerous articles to various right-wing and nationalist periodicals on subjects as varied as “national-hedonism” and “genetic socialism.”162 But his favorite theme became “raciology” that claimed to investigate the “racial nature” of the Russian people and to address the country’s current “racial problems,” including rapidly falling fertility rates among “Russians” and extensive immigration of “non-Russians” from the former republics of the Soviet Union, especially from Central Asia and the Caucasus.163

  • 164 For a general analysis of the resurgence of racism in post-communist regimes, see Ian Law, Red Rac (...)
  • 165 V. B. Avdeev and A. N. Savel’ev, eds., Rasovyi smysl russkoi idei, 2 vols. (M.: Belye al’vy, 2002) (...)
  • 166 V. B. Avdeev, ed., Russkaia rasovaia teorii do 1917 goda, 2 vols. (M.: FERI-V, 2002-04). This anth (...)
  • 167 See Liudvig Vol’tman, Politicheskaia antropologiia (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2000); for the German origina (...)
  • 168 V. B. Avdeed, Rasologiia: nauka o nasledstvennykh kachestvakh liudei (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2005).

88Avdeev infused the popular nationalist slogan “Russia for the Russians” with explicitly “racial” meaning. In 2000, he joined forces with several outspoken nationalists in creating a “Library of Racial Thought” under the imprint of a private publishing outlet named “White Elves,” a reference to the creatures of Norse mythology appropriated by various racist groups as a symbol of white race’s superiority.164 The library was inaugurated with a two-volume set, tellingly titled The Racial Essence of the Russian Idea, which Avdeev compiled jointly with Andrei Savel’ev, a physicist-turned-politician, at the time a deputy of the State Duma.165 Over the next few years, Avdeev produced numerous publications on “raciology” for the “Library of Racial Thought.” He compiled two volumes (of more than 1,300 pages in total) of “original works by the Russian classics [of racial theory],” issued under the title Russian Racial Theory before 1917.166 He was instrumental in bringing out Russian translations of writings by such notorious German “racial theorists” as Ludwig Woltmann, Carl H. Stratz, Ernst Krieck, and Hans F. K. Günther.167 He supplied all of these publications with his own lengthy introductions and commentaries, emphasizing their relevance to Russia’s current “racial problems.” Avdeev’s own “theorizing” on the subject appeared in 2005 as a 500-page monograph, Raciology: The Science of Hereditary Human Qualities, which two years later came out in a second, expanded edition.168

Fig. 7-8. Vladimir Avdeev, a portrait by Roman Iashin, oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, c.1998. The portrait clearly depicts its subject as a blue-eyed, blond “Aryan,” which contrasts markedly with his actual appearance (see fig. 7-9). From Avdeev’s personal page at http://racology.ru/​galereya. Courtesy of V. Avdeevand R. Iashin.

  • 169 See, T. I. Alekseeva et. al., “Retsidivy shovinizma i rasovoi neterpimosti,” Priroda, 2003, 6: 80- (...)
  • 170 See V. A. Shnirel’man, “Rasizm vchera i segodnia,” Pro et Contra, 2005, 5: 41-65, http://www.demos (...)
  • 171 See V. A. Shnirel’man, “Porog tolerantnosti”: Ideologiia i praktika novogo racizma, 2 vols. (M.: N (...)

89Needless to say, Avdeev’s unabashed propaganda of racism under the guise of the “new science of raciology” provoked an indignant response from the Russian scientific community. Already in 2003, after the appearance of the first volume of Avdeev’s anthology on Russian Racial Theory before 1917, fourteen well-known anthropologists, ethnographers, and geneticists published in Priroda a fierce rebuttal, titled “Recurrences of Chauvinism and Racial Intolerance.”169 A few years later, Viktor Shnirel’man, a leading specialist at the Academy of Sciences Institute of Anthropology and Ethnology in Moscow, provided a detailed analysis of Avdeev’s “raciology” in a series of articles,170 culminating in a monumental, two-volume damning examination titled The Ideology and Practice of New Racism.171 As Shnirel’man put it, “Like his German teachers, Avdeev does not seek scientific truth at all. He strives as mightily as he can to build anew an edifice of ‘Nordic (Aryan) science,’ which is supposed to prove the greatness of ‘white man’ and his ‘vanguard’ — ‘pure-blooded Russian Aryans’.” He vividly characterized Avdeev’s “scientific” approach to this task:

  • 172 Shnirel’man, “‘Tsepnoi pes rasy’,” pp. 192-93.

The distinctiveness of this book [Raciology] lies in that, in essence, it presents merely a large collection of quotations carefully selected and commented upon by the author. He was, of course, attracted only by those quotes and those authors that could, in his view, confirm his own favorite conceptions of racial theory. He is not ashamed of forgery, that is of distorting certain citations taken from well-known authors who had never subscribed to a racial theory. Therefore, all citations provided by Avdeev ought to be checked against the original. Sometimes he uses correct citations, but perverts completely their meaning in his commentaries.172

  • 173 See, for instance, his response to Priroda’s article in the foreword to the second volume of his a (...)
  • 174 See V. B. Avdeev and A. N. Sevast’ianov, Rasa i etnos (M.: Knizhnyi mir, 2007); and V. B. Avdeev, (...)
  • 175 Vladimir Avdeyev, Raciology: The Science of the Hereditary Traits of Peoples, transl. by Patrick C (...)
  • 176 On Draper and his “Pioneer Fund,” see William H. Tucker, The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wicklif (...)
  • 177 See http://www.zrd.spb.ru/news/2012-01/news-0236.htm.

90Avdeev was not fazed by this critique.173 He continued to publish extensively on various facets of “raciology” and to build contacts with like-minded individuals at home and abroad. In 2007, he co-authored a special volume, Race and Ethnos, and three years later, published a voluminous History of English Anthropology, both of which claimed that “race” was the key to understanding humanity’s past history and possible future.174 In 2011, his Raciology came out in English with an enthusiastic foreword by Kevin MacDonald — a retired psychology professor from California State University, Long Beach — who had gained wide notoriety as an outspoken anti-Semite.175 Although the book has no identifiable publisher, its production was likely backed by another notorious “scientific” racist, Canadian psychologist J. Philippe Rushton, the author of the highly controversial Race, Evolution, and Behavior (1996). From 2002 till his death in 2012, Rushton served as president of Wickliffe P. Draper’s infamous “Pioneer Fund” and director of its “Charles Darwin Research Institute.”176 According to Avdeev’s “scientific-literary biography,” it was this institute that funded his “research.”177

91Perhaps as a kind of quid pro quo for producing the English translation of his book, Avdeev, in turn, helped produce a Russian translation of Rushton’s 1996 book that also came out in 2011.178 The English translation of Raciology was warmly greeted on well-known white supremacist websites in the United States and the United Kingdom; while Avdeev maintained close contacts with such notorious western “racial thinkers” as Jared Taylor and Sam Dickson (see fig. 7-9).179 But, just as its English edition came out, a Russian court decision included the Russian version on the list of “extremist literature” and prohibited its circulation in Russia.180 It seems likely that this event stimulated Avdeev’s turn from “raciology” to racial hygiene and eugenics, manifested in his publication the following year of his Reader on Russian Eugenics.

Fig. 7-9. Vladimir Avdeev with Jared Taylor in Moscow, 2016. Photographer unknown. From Avdeev’s personal page at http://racology.ru/​galereya. Courtesy of V. Avdeev. A similar photo of Avdeev with Sam Dickson (Moscow, 2016) is available on the same website.

  • 181 The journal’s title was probably a veiled reference to “Ahnenerbe,” an infamous Nazi society for t (...)
  • 182 V. Avdeev, “Svoboda lichnosti i rasovaia gigiena,” Nasledie predkov, 1997, 3, http://cultoboz.ru/n (...)
  • 183 Vladimir Avdeev, “Geneticheskii socialism,” Nasledie predkov, 1997, 4: 9-15; all the subsequent qu (...)

92Avdeev seems to have been aware of eugenics since his first attempts to develop a theoretical framework for his raciology. Probably his initial interest was spurred by the resonance of German “racial hygiene” with his own racist ideas. In 1997, in the journal The Ancestral Heritage,181 which he helped found, Avdeev published an article on “Personal Freedom and Racial Hygiene.” In this incoherent mix of paganism, nationalism, mysticism, racism, and anti-Bolshevism, he claimed that “true personal freedom inevitably leads us to upholding the principles of racial hygiene, and, vice versa, the strict following of eugenic prescriptions maximizes personal freedom.”182 In the next issue of the same journal, Avdeev published a manifesto of “a principally new ideology” he named “Genetic Socialism.”183 The article responded to the sensationalist press coverage of the first successful cloning of a mammal, Dolly the sheep, and presented cloning as the instrument with which to solve Russia’s “racial problems.” Avdeev proposed “to collectivize the nation’s entire genofond and on this basis build a society of genetic socialism, with all the ensuing socio-cultural and racio-biological consequences.” “A state built on the basis of genetic socialism,” he asserted, “will be in its form and essence a eugenic state.”

  • 184 N. K. Kol’tsov, “Rassovo-gigienicheskoe dvizhenie v Rossii,” Nasledie predkov, 1998, 5: 41-42; for (...)
  • 185 V. Avdeev, “Nikolai Konstantinovich Kol’tsov,” Nasledie predkov, 1998, 5: 41.

93The next year, he published in the same journal a Russian translation of Nikolai Kol’tsov’s 1925 overview of the “racial-hygienic movement in Russia” that had appeared in the Archiv für Rassen- und Gesellschafts-Biologie.184 “With this publication we want to tear off the veil from a mystery,” Avdeev stated in his preface, “in order to stimulate scientific discussion on a topic, which in the Soviet Union constituted a taboo, and which is little talked about in the modern democratic Russia of today.”185 He misdated Kol’tsov’s article, claiming that it had been published in 1935 (i.e. after Hitler’s ascent to power), and thus illustrates the collaboration and competition between “Bolshevik and Nazi raciologists.” As he put it, “responsibility for the publication by the Soviet geneticist in the racial ‘Archiv’ of the Third Reich lies entirely with the Gestapo and the NKVD.” Demonstrating complete ignorance (or deliberate distortion) of the history of eugenics, Avdeev declared:

It was in the works by Soviet theoreticians [such as] N. K. Kol’tsov, Iu. A. Filipchenko, M. V. Volotskoi, A. S. Serebrovskii, T. Ia. Tkachev, and T. I. Iudin that many radical doctrines related to the creation of a “new man,” to the positive change of the human breed, and to the coerced sterilization of genetically-defective, useless members of society had first been proposed.

  • 186 Thus, he included his articles on eugenics published during the late 1990s into his collections on(...)

94In the course of the next decade, Avdeev focused on elaborating his own “racial theory,” only occasionally invoking eugenics and racial hygiene in support of his “theorizing.”186 After the 2011 court prohibition of his major opus, however, he apparently decided that it would be safer to propagate the same racist ideas under the guise of “eugenics.”

Fig. 7-10. The cover page of Russian Eugenics, published in 2012 as part of the “Library of Racial Thought” under the “White Elves” trademark, which opened with another edition of Florinskii’s treatise. The subtitle identifies the volume as a “collection of original works by Russian scientists (a reader) edited by V. B. Avdeev.” The author’s collection.

  • 187 V. M. Avdeev, ed., Russkaia evgenika. Sbornik original’nykh rabot russkikh uchenykh (khrestomatiia (...)

95In 2012, Avdeev published in his “Library of Racial Thought” a 570-page anthology of “original works by Russian scientists,” titled Russian Eugenics.187 The book’s very title carried an explicit nationalist message (see fig. 7-10). The English word “Russian” covers two very different Russian adjectives: rossiiskii and russkii. The first refers to the country’s name, Russia, and thus defines something or someone as belonging to the country. The second refers to the Russians as an ethnic group, and thus defines something or someone as belonging to that group. The title of Avdeev’s compilation “russkaia evgenika” referred explicitly to the ethnic Russians who had allegedly developed their own particular eugenics, not to the development of eugenics in Russia by scientists of whatever ethnic origins.

  • 188 It also included publications by several much less known proponents of eugenics in Russia, such as (...)

96The stated goal of this compilation was “to help modern native readers to form their own understanding of such a grandiose and historically important phenomenon as Russian eugenics” [3]. Introduced by its editor’s lengthy article on “The Ideology of Russian Eugenics,” the volume included eighteen publications by the members of the Russian Eugenics Society, including Bunak, Filipchenko, Iudin, Kol’tsov, Liublinskii, Serebrovskii, and Volotskoi.188 Although four out of the eighteen items had been reissued just a few years earlier by Babkov, the rest were being reprinted for the first time, thus, indeed providing access to rare, long-forgotten writings by proponents of eugenics in Soviet Russia. In contrast to the previous collections on eugenics by Babkov and Pchelov, Avdeev’s was decidedly unscholarly. It simply reproduced the texts, often without even indicating the dates and venues of their original publications. The reason for such sloppy handling of the Reader’s contents is clear: Avdeev was not interested in the actual history of eugenics in Russia. The main purpose of his compilation was to legitimize its editor’s “raciology.” “Many Russian eugenicists wrote not merely on eugenics,” Avdeev alleged in his introduction, “but on racial eugenics, for their goal was the healthification not of abstract humanity, but of a concrete race — the white race that created Russia” [41].

  • 189 On the “patriotic” campaigns, see Krementsov, Stalinist Science.

97Echoing, perhaps inadvertently, the Stalin era “patriotic” campaigns for establishing Russian priority in all fields of science and technology,189 the introduction claimed that eugenics was a Russian creation. As Avdeev put it:

Despite the fact that from a formal viewpoint Galton is considered to be the founder of eugenics, the most remarkable fact is that, as in many other fields of knowledge, [in eugenics] the priority should belong to Russia. If we set aside the term he introduced into the international usage and look at the principles of organization of this field of natural science themselves, our conclusion would become obvious [6].

  • 190 See Florinskii, 2012, pp. 44-134.
  • 191 Vladimir Avdeev, “Ideologiia russkoi evgeniki,” in idem, Russkaia evgenika, pp. 3-43.

98It was in order to support this claim that the anthology opened with “a small, but absolutely revolutionary in its essence book” — Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration.190 Avdeev had probably learned about the existence of Florinskii’s treatise from Kol’tsov’s 1925 article, whose Russian translation he had published in 1998. As we saw in the previous chapter, the RES president opened this overview of the recent development of eugenics in Bolshevik Russia with a long paragraph on Florinskii’s 1866 book. Avdeev did not bother to look for the original and was obviously unaware of its 1995 reprint produced by Puzyrev. Without any acknowledgment, he simply reproduced the text of Volotskoi’s 1926 abridged edition. Avdeev, however, removed all extra-textual additions made by his predecessor, including Volotskoi’s foreword and commentaries (even though the numbers indicating Volotskoi’s footnotes remain in the published text!). But he did not write his own comments on the text. Instead, the editor devoted a substantial part of the volume’s introduction to Florinskii and his treatise.191

99“International Soviet science did everything it could,” Avdeev declared, “to drown in obscurity the name of the Russian genius Vasilii Markovich Florinskii who actually should be considered the forefather of eugenics” [6]. According to the editor, Florinskii “analyzed the racial differentiation of humanity and described the population of Russia on the basis of its characteristic traits, along with the causes of the formation of various racial types, taking into account the diverse historical processes [that had unfolded] on the country’s gigantic territories” [9]. Avdeev stated that Florinskii was “one of the first in the world’s scientific practice” to have provided a “sociobiological interpretation of [human] history” [10] and “established one of the key rules of classical racial theory, long before this [theory] flourished” [11]. According to Avdeev, the main conclusion of Florinskii’s book was that “if a state wishes to assure its future prosperity, it must inevitably regulate the [racial] purity and rationality of marriages between its citizens” [13]. “The political vitality of a state, according to the prophetic generalizations of V. M. Florinskii,” he asserted, “is defined by the degree of complementarity of [its] ethnic groups, which make it [the state] into a singular historical whole” [39]. “As most Russian pioneers in science,” Avdeev lamented, Florinskii “was far ahead of his time, and for this, as is customary here, he was consigned to oblivion” [12].

100Compared to the 500 copies of Puzyrev’s edition, Avdeev’s Russian Eugenics came out in a huge (for contemporary Russia) print run of 3,000 copies. Furthermore, very soon after its publication, the book became freely available for download on the Internet. Its editor and publisher advertised the anthology in various venues, including the nationalist web-based channel, “The first Slavic Rusich TV.”192 This active propaganda/marketing campaign certainly made Florinskii’s treatise much more widely known and available to contemporary readers. Indeed, in recent years, references to the latest reprint of Florinskii’s treatise began to appear in various publications, whose authors likely do not even suspect that they had read and cited not the original text of Florinskii’s essays, but their abridged and edited version produced by Volotskoi.193 One could surmise, however, that this was not the impact anticipated by the editor and the publisher of Russian Eugenics: apart from a few blogs written by supporters of his raciology, “Russian racial eugenics” concocted by Avdeev has found no response, thus far.194

Reading into Florinskii’s Book

101The repeated resurrection of Florinskii’s treatise during the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods was prompted by its utility as a suitable instrument for the justification and legitimization of new approaches to the mix of ideas, values, concerns, and policies related to human reproduction, heredity, development, and evolution, which during the preceding decades had been characterized as eugenics. The diverse uses of Florinskii’s treatise by its new publishers and commentators were made possible by reading into its actual contents various meanings and connotations absent in the original text, but resonating strongly with their own specific intellectual, political, economic, institutional, and ideological contexts and aspirations, and by assigning to the midnineteenth-century book new significance and importance.

102There is little doubt that the “rehabilitation” of both Galton and Florinskii in the late 1960s and early 1970s was an important part of the (re)legitimization of medical genetics in the Soviet Union. At the first stage in the discipline’s development during the early 1930s, its champions had sought to distance their enterprise as far as possible from Galton’s eugenics and had maintained silence over Florinskii’s “marriage hygiene.” This time, however, they did exactly the opposite, claiming both as the forerunners of their discipline. This drastic reversal stemmed from two interconnected developments: the decline of the role of “Marxist” philosophy and the rising importance of international disciplinary consensus in the negotiations between Soviet scientists and their patrons in the party-state apparatus.

103As we saw in previous chapters, Florinskii’s treatise provided Volotskoi and his like-minded colleagues with a suitable template for elaborating “proletarian,” “socialist,” “bio-social” eugenics, whilst “Marxist” critique played a crucial role in making eugenics “theirs,” not “ours” in the Soviet Union during the 1930s. At the same time, certain concurrent international events surrounding issues of eugenics and human genetics — first and foremost, the use of “racial hygiene” in Nazi political rhetoric and actual policies — played a profound role in the legitimization strategy Soviet eugenicists-turned-medical-geneticists devised for their new enterprise in the early 1930s. The essence of this strategy was to separate completely the new discipline of medical genetics from its stepmother, eugenics, including the disremembering of its Russian “founder,” Florinskii. But this strategy failed: the actual and perceived links among eugenics, Rassenhygiene, and medical genetics (at the level of ideas, methods, institutions, and individuals) became a major target for the new wave of “Marxist” critique leveled at medical genetics and a leading cause of the discipline’s decline in the Soviet Union in the late 1930s. Furthermore, the same links were successfully exploited by Lysenko in order to take over the entire field of genetics in 1948.

104Apparently the 1960s and 1970s spokesmen for medical genetics learned from the mistakes of their predecessors and developed a new strategy for re-legitimizing their enterprise. This strategy was based on acknowledging the roots of their discipline in eugenics, but separating “true” eugenics — now represented by both Galton’s and Florinskii’s concepts — from its various later “perversions.” Characteristically, they treated as such “perversions” not only the racist interpretations and uses of “racial hygiene” by the Nazis, but also Volotskoi’s juxtaposition of Galton’s and Florinskii’s approaches to their common subject. The “return to the roots” of medical genetics in Florinskii’s treatise allowed its new spokesmen to pass over in silence the fierce 1930s “Marxist” attacks on the discipline and to assert their own control over its “methodological issues.”

  • 195 Adams, Networks in Action.

105At the same time, in contrast to the 1930s strategy that had emphasized the path-breaking nature of the goals, agendas, and foci of research on medical genetics by its Soviet practitioners and their fundamental differences from those of western eugenicists, the discipline’s legitimization in the 1960s and 1970s heavily exploited the concurrent advances in western medical genetics, as well as the rise of “new” eugenics in the West. In his detailed analysis of the “rebirth” of Soviet genetics, Mark B. Adams has convincingly shown that such western advances as the deciphering of the genetic code and the rapid growth of molecular biology became weighty arguments that Soviet scientists used in both restoring the legitimacy of genetics and undermining Lysenko’s monopoly over the discipline in the upper echelons of the Soviet power structure — the Central Committee of the Communist Party and its various departments that oversaw science and agriculture.195

  • 196 See R. Vagner i G. Mitchell, Genetika i obmen veshchestv (M.: Izdatel’stvo inostrannoi literatury, (...)

106As with the re-legitimization of genetics writ large, western developments played a key role in the revival of Soviet medical genetics. Undoubtedly, in the Cold War atmosphere of intense competition between the superpowers, the authority of western geneticists became a powerful cultural resource that their Soviet colleagues successfully exploited in asserting the legitimacy of their specialty. From the late 1950s through the early 1970s, Soviet medical geneticists translated into Russian major works on the subject by such well-known western colleagues as Charlotte Auerbach, Robert P. Wagner and Herschel K. Mitchell, Kurt Stern, James V. Neel and William Shull, Victor A. McKusick, and Alan C. Stevenson and B. C. Clare Davison.196

107Expectedly, the Russian translations were decidedly edited, especially in those sections that touched upon the interrelations of medical genetics and eugenics. For instance, in his preface to Neel and Shull’s book on human heredity, Solomon Ardashnikov, Levit’s close collaborator and the “scientific secretary” of his IMG, pointedly noted:

  • 197 See, S. N. Ardashnikov, “Predislovie k russkomu izdaniiu,” in Nil’and Shell, Nasledstvennost’u che (...)

Not all views of the authors could be unquestionably accepted by Soviet readers. A particularly critical approach is required for the chapter devoted to eugenics. As is known, this area of anthropogenetics was subject to numerous perversions and was used to justify racism and colonial wars. Reactionary eugenics especially flourished in Fascist countries. The book’s authors criticize many attempts at using human genetics for these purposes. However, even in this sufficiently judicious evaluation of eugenic issues, the authors put forward a series of notions incompatible with our position [on these issues]. It is also important to note that this chapter reflects the views on eugenics by the moderate and progressive representatives of Western scientists, which could be of interest to the Soviet reader.197

  • 198 See the last chapter, “Eugenika,” in ibid., pp. 374-88.
  • 199 See, for instance, a foreword to the translation of Curt Stern’s Principles of Human Genetics, Red (...)

108Neel and Shull’s chapter on eugenics was considerably shortened, with sections on eugenic sterilization and differential fertility in various social groups cut out completely.198 Other translated works on medical genetics underwent similar editing.199

  • 200 See N. P. Bochkov, ed., Genetika i meditsina: Itogi XIV Mezhdunarodnogo geneticheskogo kongressa ( (...)

109Towards the end of the 1970s, the very word “eugenics” began to disappear from literature in both the West and the Soviet Union, whilst “medical genetics” became the preferred descriptor for many ideas, values, concerns, and actions that their proponents had characterized as “eugenic” just a decade or two prior. In August 1978 the Fourteenth International Genetics Congress met in Moscow, bringing together nearly 3,500 participants from some sixty countries. The congress’s official motto was “Genetics and the wellbeing of mankind” and medical genetics was its major focus. The IMG director Bochkov chaired the Soviet organizing committee for the congress, and one of the four volumes of its proceedings dealt in its entirety with various issues in medical applications of genetics.200 Tellingly, there was not a word on eugenics in the volume. Under these circumstances, the acknowledgement of Galton as a founder of “medical genetics” helped establish a common genealogy for western and Soviet medical genetics, whilst Florinskii and his treatise served as a convenient tool in appropriating western advances in medical genetics by demonstrating their alleged “native” roots. By “translating” the mid-nineteenth-century book into the language of modern medical genetics for its late-twentieth-century readers, first Kanaev and then Bochkov effectively “domesticated” concurrent western developments in medical genetics, at the same time distancing the discipline from western “perversions” of eugenics.

110In the 1990s, in republishing Florinskii’s book, Puzyrev, too, pursued the same goals, emphasizing that “many concerns, which had troubled its author in the previous century, are now the subject of research at the laboratories of the [Tomsk] Institute of Medical Genetics.” The inauguration of the Human Genome Project, along with the introduction of cloning techniques, provided a new impetus for the revival of eugenics debates around the world, including Russia, as witnessed by the 1996 roundtable organized by the editorial board of the journal Man. In the context of these debates, Florinskii’s “marriage hygiene” became a convenient bridge between western and “native” approaches to such contemporary problems identified by Puzyrev as “the ethnogenesis and the genetics of various peoples and ethnicities in Siberia, the influence of consanguineous marriages on the population’s health, the epidemiology of hereditary diseases, medico-genetics consultations, and so on.”

  • 201 For a general analysis of the situation, see Loren R. Graham and Irina Dezhina, Science in the New (...)

111But for Puzyrev, Florinskii’s book apparently also served a different agenda, first and foremost, the preservation of his Institute of Medical Genetics and, indeed, his specialty itself during the rapid deterioration of the Soviet science and health-protection systems triggered by the collapse of the Soviet Union. With its major justification — the Cold War — over and its only patron — the party-state apparatus — gone, the gigantic, centralized, hierarchical system of research institutions that comprised Soviet science fell into disarray.201 With government coffers dry and science no longer a priority for the new ruling elites, the directors of scientific institutions fought tooth and nail for the survival of their fiefdoms by offering both the public and emerging private businesses whatever services and resources they could scrounge together. Remote from the centers of power (and funding) in Moscow, provincial scientific institutes were hit the hardest. Many academic institutions generated funds necessary for the maintenance of their assets and personnel by renting out their offices, facilities, and equipment. Many strove to find and court new patrons among local individuals and institutions.

  • 202 For a detailed analysis of the International Science Foundation’s work in 1990s Russia, see Irina (...)

112In this context, Puzyrev’s extensive campaign in the local press to popularize Florinskii’s legacy could be seen as an attempt to highlight the deep local connections of his own specialty with Tomsk, and Siberia more generally, and thus raise its profile and importance in the eyes of prospective local patrons. It seems that Puzyrev had successfully accomplished this goal. As indicated by the acknowledgments in his edition of Florinskii’s treatise, its publication was made possible by financial support from the Tomsk branch of a certain foundation, named “Human Health,” and from a private company, named “DialogSibir’-Tomsk.” At the same time, Puzyrev’s efforts to advertise Florinskii’s treatise on the international scene (at the international congress and in international periodicals) perhaps helped attract the attention of prospective international partners and patrons to his institute and its personnel. In 1994-1995, Puzyrev himself became a recipient of the “Soros Professorship” — an award granted by the International Science Foundation created by billionaire George Soros to support science and scientists in the countries of the former socialist bloc.202

  • 203 See, for instance, Mark G. Field, “The Health Crisis in the Former Soviet Union: A Report from the (...)
  • 204 See, for instance, John M. Kramer, “Drug Abuse in Russia: An Emerging Threat,” Problems of Post-Co (...)
  • 205 See, for instance, Michele Rivkin-Fish, Women’s Health in Post-Soviet Russia: The Politics of Inte (...)
  • 206 See, for instance, K. K. Borisenko, L. I. Tichonova, and A. M. Renton, “Syphilis and other sexuall (...)

113The Tomsk IMG, however, was not merely a research, but also a clinical institution, and as such a component of the Soviet health-protection system that also crumbled after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The impoverishment of the population, the curtailment of the social safety nets, and the disintegration of the healthcare system resulted in deep demographic and health crises in post-Soviet Russia.203 They provoked a massive rise in alcohol and drug abuse and associated morbidity and mortality.204 They led to a sharp increase in the number of abortions and a rapid decrease of birth rates, accompanied by a marked decline in women’s health status.205 Deteriorating social conditions worsened considerably the country’s epidemiological situation manifested not only in the resurgence of the old “killers” such as TB, diphtheria, and syphilis, but also in the flaring up of new epidemics such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.206 The breakdown of the state system of sanitary controls over the quality of air, water, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, and other consumer products also contributed substantially to rapidly rising morbidity and mortality rates and dropping life expectancy (especially among men). This dire situation threatened to make the entire specialty of medical genetics irrelevant to the urgent health needs of the population. After all, the morbidity and mortality figures associated with hereditary diseases were negligible compared to those induced by the country’s “social ills.”

  • 207 At the administrative level, they managed to accomplish this task quite successfully. At the very (...)
  • 208 This line of research became an important part of the Tomsk IMG agendas in the late 1990s and earl (...)

114The discipline’s spokesmen, then, desperately needed to reassert the importance of their specialty as an integral and indispensable part of a new health-protection system that began to emerge on the ruins of its Soviet predecessor.207 One might suggest that the renewed interest in Florinskii’s treatise (that culminated in its new edition) reflected the search for a suitable means to do just that. Aside from tracing the mutagenic effects of environmental pollution and occupational hazards, medical genetics seemed to have little to offer in alleviating the country’s current health and demographic crises.208 But the discipline could perhaps help ameliorate their impact on its future. The image of Florinskii as a “pioneer” of medical genetics and of his treatise as the manifesto of the discipline’s mission — to guard the health of future generations — could serve as a suitable instrument in the discipline’s re-legitimization and expansion in post-Soviet Russia. This probably explains Puzyrev’s references to Florinskii in his lecture at the inauguration of the medical genetics department at Tomsk Medical University, which strengthened the position of his specialty by creating a new center for preparing the next generation of its practitioners. The equating of Florinskii’s “marriage hygiene” with eugenics apparently served to further underscore the future-oriented contributions medical genetics could make to protecting the country’s health, as Puzyrev’s report on Florinskii’s “eugenic views” delivered to the large conference on “The health of the population in Russia” and reprinted in the new edition of Florinskii’s treatise readily demonstrates.

115In the 2010s, Avdeev used Florinskii and his treatise for entirely different purposes. But once again, it was the treatise’s perceived implications for the country’s future that apparently attracted the attention of the self-proclaimed “bio-politician.” For him, the re-publication of Human Perfection and Degeneration served primarily as a means to legitimize his own “raciology” as a truly “Russian” and “scientific” solution to the troubling economic, demographic, political, ideological, and social consequences of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of the Russian Federation as the heir to the past glory of the Russian Empire destroyed by the Bolsheviks. Avdeev’s raciology could be seen as a particular nationalist vision of the country’s future — clearly expressed in the popular slogan “Russia for the Russians” and built on “racial” and “eugenic” foundations — articulated in his explorations on The Racial Essence of the Russian Idea and Race and Ethnos. The main “scientific” justification of raciology was the notion of the superiority of the “Great-Russian race” propounded by several anthropologists and psychiatrists in the late imperial period, whose works Avdeev reprinted in his two-volume anthology on Russian Racial Theory before 1917.

116An extensive critique of this notion by leading Russian ethnographers, anthropologists, and geneticists, which culminated in the prohibition of his magnum opus, Raciology, apparently prodded its author to expand the “scientific” foundation of his “theory” by inserting racial hygiene — i.e. eugenics — into its contents. To justify this expansion he claimed that eugenics had first originated in Russia, and he re-published Florinskii’s book as the proof of this claim. Furthermore, he presented the early development of eugenics in Soviet Russia as a decisively nationalist and racist project by alleging that its proponents had elaborated a “racial” eugenics. At the same time, the demise of eugenics in the Soviet Union in 1930 gave Avdeev a convenient pretext to indict the Soviet regime’s antiracist and internationalist stance as contrary to the interests of the “Russian people.”

  • 209 See V. Avdeev, “Restavrator russkogo mirovozzreniia V. M. Florinskii,” in V. M. Florinskii, Pervob (...)

117Moreover, three years after the publication of his anthology on “Russian Eugenics,” Avdeev also reprinted Florinskii’s monumental treatise on The Primordial Slavs according to the Monuments of Their Prehistoric Life. He prefaced the reprint with his own rendering of its author’s biography based largely on Iastrebov’s publications and ostentatiously titled, “The Restorer of the Russian Worldview, V. M. Florinskii.”209 In recounting Florinskii’s life and works, Avdeev again highlighted Human Perfection and Degeneration as the foundational work of “Russian” eugenics. Furthermore, he presented the professor’s hypothesis on the migration of “prehistoric Slavic tribes” from India to Siberia, and farther on to Europe, as the fundamental truth about the origins and historical development of the “Russian Aryan race.”

118As with the first revival of Florinskii’s treatise in the 1920s, its afterlife from the early 1970s through the 2010s was determined by its commentators’ and publishers’ reading into the actual text of Human Perfection and Degeneration new meanings and new significance drawn from their own specific intellectual, ideological, institutional, and social contexts in the late Soviet and post-Soviet eras.

Notes

1 See, for instance, Conway Zirkle, ed., Death of a Science in Russia: The Fate of Genetics as Described in “Pravda” and Elsewhere (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949); and Michael I. Lerner, Genetics in the USSR: An Obituary (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1950).

2 For details, see Mark B. Adams, “Genetics and the Soviet Scientific Community, 1948-1965,” doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, 1972; idem., “Biology After Stalin: A Case Study,” Survey: A Journal of East and West Studies, 1977-78, 23: 53-80; and idem., Networks in Action (Trondheim: Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies, 2000).

3 For the full text of the report, see N. S. Khrushchev, “O kul’te lichnosti i ego posledstviiakh,” Izvestiia TsK KPSS, 1989, 3: 128-70; an English translation appeared in The New York Times on 5 June 1956, p. 13; its text is also available online at numerous sites, see https://www.marxists.org/archive/khrushchev/1956/02/24.htm.

4 See S. V. Shalimov, “Razvitie genetiki v Novosibirskom nauchnom tsentre vo vtoroi polovine 1960-kh gg.: Sotsial’no-istoricheskii aspect,” Istoriko-biologicheskie issledovaniia, 2013, 5 (1): 16-32. For the history of Akademgorodok in English, see Paul R. Josephson, New Atlantis Revisited: Akademgorodok, the Siberian City of Science (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).

5 On Beliaev’s life and works, see a volume of memoirs by his colleagues and family, V. K. Shumnyi, ed., Dmitrii Konstantinovich Beliaev: Kniga vospominanii (Novosibirsk: “Geo,” 2002); for a brief history of the institute, see N. A. Kupershtokh, “Institut tsitologii i genetiki Sibirskogo otdeleniia RAN,” Vestnik RAN, 2009, 79 (6): 546-55; for a lively popular account of Beliaev’s personal research interests, see Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017).

6 See, for instance, a detailed but rather self-aggrandizing account of the controversy in N. P. Dubinin, Vechnoe dvizhenie, 2nd ed. (M.: Politizdat, 1975). The book, titled Perpetual Motion, went through several successive editions and was dubbed by Dubinin’s opponents, “Perpetual Self-Promotion.” For a detailed historical account of the controversy, see Adams, “Soviet Nature-Nurture Debate,” pp. 94-138.

7 For a detailed examination of how exactly the AMN dealt with Lysenko’s takeover of biological research in 1948, see Krementsov, Stalinist Science, pp. 191-254.

8 S. N. Davidenkov, “Genetika meditsinskaia,” BME, 1958, 6: 841-55.

9 See V. P. Efroimson, “Osnovnye dostizheniia meditsinskoi genetiki i ee neotlozhnye zadachi,” Vestnik AMN SSSR, 1962, 17 (7): 74-82.

10 See, for instance, P. B. Gofman-Kadochnikov, Dve lektsii po meditsinskoi genetike (M.: n. p., 1961); and V. P. Efroimson, Vvedenie v meditsinskuiu genetiku (M.: Meditsina, 1964).

11 See, for instance, Dzh. Nil’ and U. Shell, Nasledstvennost’ u cheloveka (M.: Izdatel’stvo inostrannoi literatury, 1958); for the English original, see James V. Neel and William Shull, Human Heredity (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1954); R. Vagner i G. Mitchell, Genetika i obmen veshchestv (M.: Izdatel’stvo inostrannoi literatury, 1958); for the English original, see Robert P. Wagner and Herschel K. Mitchell, Genetics and Metabolism (New York: Willey; London: Chapman, 1955); Sh. Auerbakh, Genetika v atomnom veke (M.: Atomizdat, 1959); for the English original, see Charlotte Auerbach, Genetics in the Atomic Age (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1956).

12 S. N. Davidenkov and V. P. Efroimson, “Nasledstvennost’ cheloveka,” BME, 1961, 19: 1009-65.

13 See Vestnik AMN SSSR, 1962, 17(12).

14 See Michael D. Gordin, “Lysenko Unemployed: Soviet Genetics after the Aftermath,” Isis, 2018, 109(1): 56-78.

15 S. I. Alikhanian, ed., Aktual’nye voprosy sovremennoi genetiki (M.: MGU, 1966). Given the paucity of textbooks on genetics, this collection of essays was often used as a “textbook” by young biologists in the USSR in the 1960s and 1970s.

16 See G. Mendel’, Opyty nad rastitel’nymi gibridami (M.: Nauka, 1965). Furthermore, three years later, yet another edition of Mendel’s Selected Works appeared under the auspices of the AMN publishing house, while a fictionalized biography of Mendel’s came out in the popular series “The Lives of Remarkable People,” see G. Mendel’, Izbrannye raboty (M.: Meditsina, 1968); and B. G. Volodin, Mendel’: (Vita alterna) (M.: Molodaia gvardiia, 1968).

17 See M. Popovskii, “Tysiacha dnei akademika Vavilova,” Prostor (Alma-Ata), 1966, 7-8; and S. Reznik, Nikolai Vavilov (M.: Molodaia gvardiia, 1968).

18 By that time the institute had been renamed the Institute of Developmental Biology. On Astaurov’s life and career see, O. G. Stroeva, ed., Boris L’vovich Astaurov. Ocherki, vospominaniia, materialy (M.: Nauka, 2004).

19 See Konferentsiia po meditsinskoi genetike. Doklady i preniia, Sovetskaia klinika, 1934, 20(7-8): Supplement.

20 Bochkov described his path to genetics in a popular book, titled Genes and Fates, see Bochkov, Geny i sud′ by (M.: Molodaia gvardiia, 1990). For telling details on Bochkov’s appointment and the creation of the institute, see the transcript of Peter Harper’s interview with Bochkov conducted on 27 May 2005, https://genmedhist.eshg.org/fileadmin/content/.../interviewees.../Bochkov%20N.pdf.

21 See V. P. Efroimson, “K istorii izucheniia genetiki cheloveka v SSSR,” Genetika, 1967, 10: 114-27.

22 See V. P. Efroimson, Vvedenie v meditsinskuiu genetiku (M.: Meditsina, 1964).

23 See, for instance, E. N. Pavlovskii and P. S. Pervomaiskii, “Ob eksperimental’nom izmenenii nasledovaniia okraski u krolika,” Izvestiia AN SSSR, ser. Biologiia, 1949, 6: 702-08. For a Soviet era, laudatory biography of Pavlovskii, see N. P. Prokhorova, Akademik E. N. Pavlovskii (M.: Meditsina, 1972).

24 See E. Pavlovskii, “Evgenika,” BME, 1959, 9: 961-67.

25 See V. Polynin, Mama, papa i ia (M.: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1967). For a brief sketch of Blanter’s work in the journal, see O. O. Astakhova and O. I. Shutova, “O prirode ‘Prirody’,” Priroda, 2012, 1: 3-10.

26 Polynin, Mama, papa i ia, pp. 182, 293-300.

27 He would slightly expand this very impoverished portrayal of early Soviet eugenics in a fictionalized biography of Kol’tsov published two years later, see V. Polynin, Prorok v svoem otechestve (M.: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1969), pp. 10-13.

28 B. Astaurov, “Predislovie,” in Polynin, Mama, papa i ia, pp. 5-11. All the subsequent quotations are from this source.

29 See I. I. Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, 1822-1911 (L.: Nauka, 1972). In 2000 the book was reprinted in a volume of Kanaev’s Selected Works on the History of Biology. See I. I. Kanaev, “Frensis Gal’ton (1822-1911),” in idem, Izbrannye trudy po istorii nauki (SPb.: Aleteiia, 2000), pp. 356-475.

30 See, for instance, N. A. Pan’kov, “Gete v Saranske. Pis’ma M. M. Bakhtina k I. I. Kanaevu,” Dialog. Karnaval. Khronotop, 1999, 3: 79-97; Ben Taylor, “Kanaev, Vitalism and the Bakhtin Circle,” in David Shepherd, Craig Brandist, and Galin Tihanov, eds., The Bakhtin Circle: In the Master’s Absence (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004), pp. 150-66; Iu. P. Medvedev and D. A. Medvedeva, “Trudy i dni kruga M. M. Bakhtina,” Zvezda, 2008, 7, http://magazines.russ.ru/zvezda/2008/7/me14.html;andmanyothers.

31 For a brief biography of Kanaev, see K. V. Manoilenko, “I. I. Kanaev i ego rol’v razvitii evoliutsionnoi biologii,” in Kanaev, Izbrannye trudy, pp. 7-16; and idem, “Biolog-evoliutsionist I. I. Kanaev kak istorik nauki,” in Russkaia nauka v biograficheskikh ocherkakh (SPb.: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2003), pp. 129-36.

32 The following biographical information comes from Kanaev’s “autobiography” and other materials preserved in his personnel file held at the St. Petersburg Branch of the ARAN, f. 806, op. 2, d. 259.

33 See I. I. Kanaev, “Iz istorii biologii v Leningrade v nachale 20-kh godov,” Nauka i tekhnika (voprosy istorii i teorii), 1972, 7 (2): 44-46; see also L. Z. Kaidanov, “Formirovanie kafedry genetiki i eksperimental’noi zoologii v Petrogradskom Universitete (1913-1920),” Issledovaniia po genetike, 1994, 11: 6-12.

34 See, for instance, I. I. Kanaev, Nasledstvennost’: Nauchno-populiarnyi ocherk (L.: Priboi, 1925).

35 Kanaev’s magnum opus on the subject appeared in 1952 and was translated into English in 1969, see I. I. Kanaev, Hydra: Essays on the Biology of Fresh Water Polyps (Irving, CA.: Howard M. Lenhoff, 1969).

36 See, for instance, I. Kanajew [Kanaev], “Über den Porus aboralis bei Pelmatohydra oligactis Pall.,” Zoologischer Anzeiger, 1928, 76: 37-44.

37 In 1930, as part of the sweeping reorganizations of the Great Break, all medical schools were separated from universities and re-constituted as independent teaching facilities.

38 For details, see Todes, Ivan Pavlov.

39 See I. P. Pavlov, Dvadtsatiletnii opyt ob” ektivnogo izucheniia vysshei nervnoi deiatel’nosti (povedeniia) zhivotnykh (L.: GIZ, 1923).

40 On Pavlov’s flirtation with Lamarckism and its consequences, see Krementsov, “Marxism, Darwinism, and Genetics,” pp. 225-28.

41 See N. K. Kol’tsov, “I. P. Pavlov: Trud zhizni velikogo biologa,” Biologicheskii zhurnal, 1936, 5 (3): 387-402.

42 Some of Krasnogorskii’s experiments with conditional reflexes in children had been recorded in the famous 1926 film, Mechanics of the Brain. An abridged copy of the film with English subtitles is available at http://vimeo.com/20583313.

43 See I. I. Kanaev, “Izuchenie bliznetsov, kak geneticheskii metod,” Priroda, 1934, 12: 37-45; idem, “Opyt izucheniia uslovnykh refleksov u odnoiaitsevykh bliznetsov,” Arkhiv biologicheskikh nauk, 1934, 34(5-6): 569-77; and idem, “Dal’neishee izuchenie fiziologicheskoi deiatel’nosti mozga u odnoiaitsevykh bliznetsov,” ibid., 1936, 44(1): 12-42.

44 See I. I. Kanaev, “Bezuslovnye sliunnye refleksy u chelovecheskikh bliznetsov,” Doklady Akademii nauk SSSR, 1939, 25(3): 255-58; idem, “Spontannaia sliunnaia sekretsiia u chelovecheskikh bliznetsov,” ibid.: 252-54; idem, “Uslovnye sliunnye refleksy u chelovecheskikh bliznetsov,” ibid.: 259-60; idem, “K voprosu o podvizhnosti uslovnykh refleksov u bliznetsov,” ibid., 1941, 30(9): 851-53; and idem, “Sliunnye refleksy u bliznetsov,” Priroda, 1940, 11: 81-85. See also I. I. Kanaev, “Genetika i embriologiia papiliarnykh risunkov chelovecheskikh pal’tsev,” Priroda, 1935, 4: 37-47; and idem, “Physiology of the Brain in Twins,” Character and Personality, 1938, 6(3): 177-87.

45 I. I. Kanaev, “Eksperimental’naia genetika vysshei nervnoi deiatel’nosti,” Uspekhi sovremennoi biologii, 1948, 25(1): 149-55.

46 For details, see N. L. Krementsov, “Ot sel’skogo khoziaistva do… meditsiny,” in Repressirovannaia nauka (L.: Nauka, 1991), vol. 1, pp. 91-116.

47 See, for instance, I. I. Kanaev, “K izucheniiu nervnykh protsessov pri dvigatel’nykh reaktsiiakh ruk u detei,” Fiziologicheskii zhurnal SSSR, 1954, 40(1): 9-17; and idem, “Materialy k fiziologii otscheta vremeni det’mi,” ibid., 1956, 42(4): 341-47.

48 For instance, he was one of the nearly 300 signatories to the famous letter detailing the detrimental effects of Lysenko’s monopoly on the development of Soviet science sent in 1955 by leading biologists, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. See, L. G. Dubinina and I. F. Zhimulev, “K 50-letiiu ‘Pis’ ma trekhsot’,” Vestnik VOGiS, 2005, 9(1): 12-33.

49 On the history of this institution and Kanaev’s work there, see E. I. Kolchinskii, Istoriko-nauchnoe soobshchestvo v Leningrade-Sankt-Peterburge v 1950-2010 gody: liudi, traditsii, sversheniia (SPb.: Nestor-Istoriia, 2013).

50 See, I. I. Kanaev, “Gete-naturalist,” in I. V. Gete, Izbrannye sochineniia po estestvoznaniiu (M.: Izd. AN SSSR, 1957), pp. 418-87.

51 I. I. Kanaev, Bliznetsy. Ocherki po voprosam mnogoplodiia (M.-L.: Izd. AN SSSR, 1959).

52 Many, but not all of these articles were reprinted in the volume of his “selected works,” see Kanaev, Izbrannye trudy, pp. 17-338. A bibliography of Kanaev’s publications on the history of biology is appended to the same volume, see “Trudy I. I. Kanaeva,” in Kanaev, Izbrannye trudy, pp. 488-91.

53 For an interesting comparison of these visions, see John Griffiths, Three Tomorrows: American, British and Soviet Science Fiction (London: Macmillan, 1980).

54 See Gordon Wolstenholme, ed., Man and his Future (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co, 1963), https://archive.org/details/manhisfutureciba00wols. For a detailed analysis of the symposium and its role in the formation of new eugenics, see the next chapter.

55 On “new” eugenics, see Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics; R. A. Soloway, “From Mainline to Reform Eugenics–Leonard Darwin and C. P. Blacker,” in Peel, ed., Essays in the History of Eugenics, pp. 52-80; Paul, The Politics of Heredity; Pauline Mazumdar, “‘Reform’ Eugenics and the Decline of Mendelism,” Trends in Genetics, 2002, 18(1): 48-52; and Comfort, The Science of Human Perfection. For a more detailed discussion of “new” eugenics, see the next chapter.

56 See, for instance, Anon., “Glubzhe razrabatyvat’metodologicheskie problemy biologii,” Voprosy filosofii, 1964, 12: 25-32. This anonymous editorial, titled “To Deepen the Elaboration of the Methodological Problems of Biology,” inaugurated biologists’ direct attack on philosophers’ superficial “ideological” and “methodological” critiques of science, especially, genetics. The campaign was part of a much broader movement by Soviet scientists to get out from under the strict “ideological” control of the party-state apparatus and to limit interference by Marxist philosophers, who in the 1930s had become spokesmen of the apparatus in the scientific community, in the development of Soviet science. See Krementsov, Stalinist Science; and Adams, Networks.

57 See, for instance, Dzh. B. S. Kholdein, “O vozmozhnosti sotsial’nykh prilozhenii antropogenetiki,” in V. N. Stoletov, ed., Nauka o nauke (M.: Progress, 1966), pp. 179-87. This was a Russian translation of Haldane’s essay “The Proper Social Application of the Knowledge of Human Genetics” in the famous 1964 volume The Science of Science, edited by Maurice Goldsmith and Alan Mackay.

58 See, for instance, Ia. S. Iorish, “Budushchee biologii i obshchestvo,” Voprosy filosofii, 1966, 9: 169-77. For details on the symposium and the discussion, see the next chapter.

59 See an overview of the discussion in I. K. Liseev and A. Ia. Sharov, “Genetika cheloveka, ee filosofskie i sotsial’no-eticheskie problemy. Kruglyi stol ‘Voprosov filosofii’,” Voprosy filosofii, 1970, 7: 106-15; 8: 125-34.

60 On Neifakh and his contributions, see M. E. Aspiz, “Ob A. A. Neifakhe kak ob uchenom,” in A. A. Neifakh, Vzgliady, idei, razdum’ia (M.: Nauka, 2001), pp. 114-18.

61 Partially this discussion has been examined in Loren R. Graham, “Reasons to Studying Soviet Science: The Example of Genetic Engineering,” in Lubrano and Solomon, eds., Social Context of Soviet Science, pp. 205-40.

62 See, for instance, B. A. Nikitiuk, ed., Sootnoshenie biologicheskogo i sotsial’nogo v razvitii cheloveka (M.: n. p., 1974); V. M. Banshchikov, ed., Sootnoshenie biologicheskogo i sotsial’nogo v cheloveke (M.: n. p., 1975); B. F. Lomov, ed., Biologicheskoe i sotsial’noe v razvitii cheloveka (M.: Nauka, 1977); A. F. Polis, ed., Biologicheskoe i sotsial’noe v formirovanii tselostnoi lichnosti (Riga: LGU, 1977); V. V. Orlov, ed., Sotsial’noe i biologicheskoe (Perm: n. p., 1975); idem, ed., Sootnoshenie biologicheskogo i sotsial’nogo (Perm: PGU, 1981); and many others. The 1975 publication of Edward O. Wilson’s Sociobiology and extensive discussions it provoked in the West fueled these debates further. For an analysis of these later debates, see Yvonne Howell, “The Liberal Gene: Sociobiology as Emancipatory Discourse in the Late Soviet Union,” Slavic Review, 2010, 69(2): 356-76.

63 Compare, for instance, special brochures on “Genetics and the Future of Humanity” published in the aftermath of the discussion by Nikolai Dubinin, Genetika i budushchee chelovechestva (M.: Znanie, 1971) and Nikolai Bochkov, Progress obshchestva i genetika cheloveka (M.: Znanie, 1971). The brochures were issued in huge print runs of 100,000 copies each by the “All-Union Society Knowledge,” as preparatory material for the society’s cadres of lecturers and were distributed to the society’s local offices, as well as public libraries, all over the country. On the early history of the society, see Michael Froggatt, “Science in Propaganda and Popular Culture in the USSR under Khrushchev, 1953-1964,” doctoral dissertation, Oxford University, 2005; and James T. Andrews, “Inculcating Materialist Minds: Scientific Propaganda and AntiReligion in the USSR during the Cold War,” in P. Betts and S. Smith, eds., Science, Religion and Communism in Cold War Europe (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 105-25.

64 The campaign also spread to literary and popular journals. For instance, in 1971, the leading journal New World carried a controversial article by Efroimson on the “Genealogy of Altruism: Ethics from the Viewpoint of Human Evolutionary Genetics,” see V. Evroimson, “Rodoslovnaia al’truizma (Etika s pozitsii evoliutsionnoi genetiki cheloveka), Novyi mir, 1971, 10: 193-213. The article sparked a prolonged debate in various periodicals; see Howell, “The Liberal Gene.”

65 For instance, in 1965 a special collection, under the revealing title “The Novelty in Science and the Problems of Preparing the Term-list for the Third Edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia,” was issued for discussions over the contents of the new edition. See Novoe v nauke i problemy podgotovki slovnika 3-go izdaniia BSE (M.: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1965).

66 With a short time lag, each volume of the entire encyclopedia was translated into English and published by Macmillan, see A. M. Prokhorov, ed., Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 30 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1973-1982).

67 M. G. Iaroshevskii, “Gal’ton, Frensis,” BSE, 1971, 6: 229-30.

68 Anon, “Gal’ton, Fransis,” BSE, 1952, 10: 179.

69 M. E. Lobashov and Iu. E. Vel’tishchev, “Evgenika,” BSE, 1971, 8: 584-85. All the subsequent quotations are from this source.

70 See E. F. Davidenkova, “Genetika meditsinskaia,” BSE, 1971, 6: 692-94.

71 See D. K. Beliaev, “Genetika,” BSE, 1971, 6: 677-91, and A. A. Prokof’eva-Bel’govskaia, K. N. Grinberg, “Genetika cheloveka,” ibid., 1971, 6: 700-03.

72 N. V. Glotov, A. A. Liapunov, and N. V. Timofeev-Resovskii, “Biometriia,” BSE, 1970, 3: 1061-62.

73 I. I. Kanaev and V. A. Pokrovskii, “Bliznetsy,” BSE, 1970, 3: 1249.

74 See a reference to Galton’s research in Kanaev’s first publication on the subject, I. Kanaev, “Izuchenie bliznetsov, kak geneticheskii metod,” Priroda, 1934, 12: 37-45.

75 Kanaev, Bliznetsy, p. 29.

76 See I. I. Kanaev, Bliznetsy i genetika (L.: Nauka, 1968), p. 49.

77 See I. I. Kanaev to Th. Dobzhansky, 10 February 1969. Theodosius Dobzhansky Papers, Mss. B. D65. Series I. Correspondence. Folder “Kanaev,” in APS (hereafter Dobzhansky Papers). Alas, the folder contains only six letters by Kanaev to Dobzhansky, but no copies of Dobzhansky’s letters to Kanaev, which so far remain unfound.

78 On Dobzhansky, see Mark B. Adams, ed., The Evolution of Theodosius Dobzhansky: His Life and Thought in Russia and America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994); and M. B. Konashev, Stanovlenie evoliutsionnoi kontseptsii F. G. Dobrzhanskogo (SPb.: Nestor-Istoriia, 2011). Kanaev’s letters to Dobzhansky have recently been published in M. B. Konashev and E. I. Kolchinksii, “‘… v SShA vsei genetikoi rukovodit russkii,’ (perepiska othechestvennykh biologov s F. G. Dobrzhanskim),” Istorikobiologicheskie issledovaniia, 2010, 2 (3): 116-41; Kanaev’s letters appear on pp. 132-35.

79 See I. I. Kanaev, Gete kak estestvoispytatel’(L.: Nauka, 1970); idem, Ocherki iz istorii problem fiziologii tsvetogogo zreniia ot antichnosti do XX veka (L.: Nauka, 1971); and idem, Abraam Tramble (L.: Nauka, 1972).

80 Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, p. 5.

81 This rehabilitation was continued, albeit in a limited way, in the biographies of the two leaders of Soviet eugenics, Kol’tsov and Filipchenko, published in the 1970s by their students in the same series of “Scientific Biographies.” See B. L. Astaurov and P. F. Rokitskii, Nikolai Konstantinovich Kol’tsov (M.: Nauka, 1975); and N. N. Medvedev, Iurii Aleksandrovich Filipchenko (M.: Nauka, 1978). Each book had a short chapter on “human genetics” that actually discussed the involvement of their protagonists with eugenics.

82 P. F. Rokitskii, “Osnovopolozhnik genetiki cheloveka,” Priroda, 1973, 5: 116-18; all the subsequent quotations are from this source. See also a similarly praising review by M. Reidiboim, “U istokov genetiki cheloveka,” Defektologiia, 1973, 5: 87-90.

83 Kanaev, Frensis Gal’ton, p. 117.

84 He certainly knew of Volotskoi’s active involvement with eugenics and human genetics. In the book he referred to an article on twins that appeared in the Russian Eugenics Journal, as well as to Volotskoi’s contribution to the fourth volume of the IMG Proceedings.

85 Kanaev to Dobzhansky, 14 March 1969, Dobzhansky Papers.

86 I. I. Kanaev, “Na puti k meditsinskoi genetike,” Priroda, 1973, 1: 52-68. All the subsequent quotations are from this source and indicated in the text by page number in square brackets.

87 Kanaev’s main sources for Florinskii’s biography were the 1898 history of the IMSA gynecology department and Florinskii’s eulogy of Sergei Botkin, see Gruzdev, Istoricheskii ocherk kafedry akusherstva i zhenskikh boleznei, pp. 214-41; and Florinskii, “Pamiati prof. S. P. Botkina,” 64-70. In his references Kanaev “renamed” Gruzdev into Gur’ev.

88 A copy of Florinskii’s book held in this library has numerous pencil marks on the margins indicating most of the cuts made by Volotskoi in the original text, which might have been left by Kanaev.

89 N. P. Bochkov, Genetika cheloveka (M.: Meditsina, 1978), pp. 11-12; see also idem, Geny i sud’by, p. 61.

90 N. P. Bochkov, “Meditsinskaia genetika,” BME, 1980, 14: 1092-98.

91 Iu. E. Vel’tishchev and B. V. Koniukhov, “Nasledstvennye bolezni,” BME, 1981, 16: 183-88.

92 See E. I. Gusev, “Genealogicheskii metod,” BME, 1977, 5: 720-31; N. P. Bochkov, E. T. Lil’in, and R. P. Martynova, “Bliznetsovyi metod,” ibid., 1976, 3: 718-27; and V. A. Alpatov and V. M. Akhutin, “Biometriia,” ibid., 1976, 3: 509-16.

93 N. E. Granat, “Florinskii, Vasilii Markovich,” BME, 1985, 26: 1034-35. The entry was a slightly expanded version of an unsigned article published in the previous edition, see Anon., “Florinskii Vasilii Markovich,” BME, 1963, 33: 854.

94 V. P. Bisiarina and M. S. Maslov, “Pediatriia,” BME, 1982, 18: 1301-19 (p. 1307).

95 In the early 1970s, Kanaev published brief accounts of research conducted at Levit’s Institute of Medical Genetics, which was clearly part of this project. See, I. I. Kanaev, “Antropogenetika i praktika,” Nauka i tekhnika: Vorposy istorii i teorii, 1971, 6: 169-72; and idem, “O rabotakh MGI im. M. Gor’kogo,” ibid., 1973, 8(2): 155-58.

96 Alas, I was unable to obtain a copy of the manuscript that reportedly is still kept in the family.

97 For concise depictions of the Brezhnev era, see William Tompson, The Soviet Union under Brezhnev (Harlow: Pearson/Longman, 2003); and Dina Fainberg and Artemy M. Kalinovsky, eds., Reconsidering Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era: Ideology and Exchange (London: Lexington, 2016).

98 Around the same time, Nikolai Medvedev, another student of Filipchenko, experienced similar difficulties in publishing a biography of his teacher. But he decided to compromise and agreed to rewrite and shorten the chapters dealing with eugenics, thus assuring that the biography would come out. For a new edition of Medvedev’s book, which contains the full text of the original 1976 manuscript, along with a vivid depiction of his negotiations with the publisher, see N. N. Medvedev, Iurii Aleksandrovich Filipchenko (M.: Nauka, 2006).

99 For a succinct overview of the war, see Mark Galeotti, Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009 (Oxford: Osprey, 2014).

100 For informative introductions to political and economic developments in Russia, see Michael McFaul, Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001); David E. Hoffman, The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia (New York: Public Affairs, 2002); Neil Robinson, ed., The Political Economy of Russia (Toronto: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013); and Svetlana Stephenson, Gangs of Russia: From the Streets to the Corridors of Power (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).

101 See, for instance, Donald J. Raleigh, ed., Soviet Historians and Perestroika: The First Phase (London: Routledge, 1989).

102 On the demise of Soviet censorship in the late 1980s and early 1990s, see the published materials of seven conferences on “Censorship in Russia: History and the Present” held in St. Petersburg in the 1990s and 2000s, Tsenzura v Rossii: Istoriia i sovremennost’ (SPb.: n. p., 2001-2015), vols. 1-7.

103 See, for instance, four volumes of historical materials published during 1992-93 under the general title “Unknown Russia. XX century,” Neizvestnaia Rossiia. XX Vek: Arkhivy, Pis’ma, Memuary, 4 vols. (M.: Istoricheskoe nasledie, 1992-1993).

104 See M. B. Konashev, “Biuro po evgenike, 1922-1930,” Issledovaniia po genetike, 1994, 11: 22-28; D. A. Aleksandrov, “Osobennosti Petrograda-Leningrada kak tsentra razvitiia evgeniki,” Nauka i tekhnika: voprosy istorii i teorii, 1996, 10: 113-19; and V. V. Babkov, “Biologicheskie i sotsial’nye ierarkhii. Konteksty pis’ma G. G. Mellera I. V. Stalinu,” VIET, 1997, 1: 76-94.

105 For a brief account of Motkov’s life and work, see Iakov Pravdin, “Posviatil zhizn’probleme uluchsheniia genofonda,” Chestnoe slovo (Kazan), 28 December 2016, http://chskaz.wixsite.com/index/170-09.

106 S. E. Motkov, “Vvedenie,” Sovetskaia evgenika, 1991, 1: 1-3 (p. 1).

107 See, for instance, S. Gershenzon and T. Buzhievskaia, “Evgenika: 100 let spustia,” Chelovek, 1996, 1: 23-29; and I. Frolov, “Nachalo puti (kratkie zametki o neoevgenike),” ibid., 1997, 1: 34-37.

108 For the transcript of the discussion, see “Ne khotim byt’klonami (Problemy sovremennoi evgeniki),” Chelovek, 1996, 4: 22-33; 5: 21-37.

109 “Nauka, kotoraia sebia izzhila. Beseda s N. P. Bochkovym,” Chelovek, 1997, 2: 20-30. Both the materials of the round table and Bochkov’s assessment were included in a special volume put together by the journal’s editor-in-chief under the title Bioethics: Principles, Rules, Problems, see B. G. Iudin, ed., Bioetika: printsipy, pravila, problemy (M.: Editorial URSS, 1998).

110 See F. Gal’ton, Nasledstvennost’ talanta: Zakony i posledstviia (M.: Mysl’, 1996).

111 I. I. Kanaev, “Frensis Gal’ton (1822-1911),” in idem, Izbrannye trudy po istorii nauki (SPb.: Aleteiia, 2000), pp. 356-475.

112 See V. V. Babkov, “Meditsinskaia genetika v SSSR,” Vestnik RAN, 2001, 71(10): 928-37; idem, “Moskva, 1934: Rozhdenie meditsinskoi genetiki,” Vestnik VOGIS, 2006, 10(3): 455-78; M. B. Konashev, “Ot evgeniki k meditsinskoi genetike,” Rossiiskii biomeditsinskii zhurnal, 2002, 3, http://www.medline.ru/public/art/tom3/eumedgen.phtml; E. B. Muzrukova, “Raboty Iu. A. Filipchenko i ego shkoly po izucheniiu nauchnogo soobshchestva Petrograda,” Sotsiokul’turnye problem nauki i tekhniki, 2006, 4: 32-42; E. B. Muzrukova and R. A. Fando, “Evgenicheskie raboty Iu. A. Filipchenko i A. S. Serebrovskogo,” Nauka i tekhnika v pervye desiatiletiia sovetskoi vlasti: sotsiokul’turnoe izmerenie (1917-1940) (M.: Academia, 2007), pp. 257-78; Iu. V. Khen, “Evgenika: osnovateli i prodolzhateli,” Chelovek, 2006, 3: 80-88; L. I. Korochkin, L. G. Romanova, “Genetika povedeniia cheloveka i evgenika,” ibid., 2007, 2: 32-43; A. M. Polishchuk, “Meditsinskaia genetika v Rossii,” Khimiia i zhizn’, 2010, 2: 44-51; and many others.

113 See, for instance, R. A. Fando, “Polemika o sud’be evgeniki,” VIET, 2002, 3: 604-17.

114 See V. Babkov, Zaria genetiki cheloveka (M.: Progress-Traditsiia, 2008).

115 E. V. Pchelov, ed., Rodoslovnaia genial’nosti: iz istorii otechestvennoi nauki 1920-kh gg. (M.: Staraia Basmannaia, 2008).

116 Fando, Proshloe nauki budushchego.

117 See R. A. Fando, “Tragicheskaia sud’ba othechestvennoi evgeniki,” in Nauka i tekhnika v pervye desiatiletiia sovetskoi vlasti: sotsiokul’turnoe izmerenie (1917-1940) (M.: Academia, 2007), pp. 279-305.

118 E. V. Iastrebov, Bibliografiia opublikovannykh trudov Vasiliia Markovicha Florinskogo (M.: n. p., 1992); idem, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii (Tomsk: Izd-vo Tomskogo Universiteta, 1994); idem, Sto neizvestnykh pisem russkikh uchenykh i gosudarstvennykh deiatelei Vasiliiu Markovichu Florinskomu (Tomsk: Izdvo Tomskogo Universiteta, 1995); and idem, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii v Peterburgskoi mediko-khirurgicheskoi akademii (M.: MPU “Signal”, 1999).

119 See, for instance, a brief biography of his maternal grandfather in N. A. Medvedeva, “K biografii sviashchenika Rezhevskoi Ioanno-Predtecheskoi tserkvi Petra Ladyzhnikova,” in A. M. Britvin, ed., Pravoslavie na Urale (Ekaterinburg: Ural’skoe tserkovno-istoricheskoe obshchestvo, 2017), pp. 67-76.

120 Before the war, the Urals University did not have a geography department. On the early history of this university, see M. E. Glavatskii, Istoriia rozhdeniia Ural’skogo universiteta (Ekaterinburg: UrGU, 2000).

121 See his memoirs on the subject in E. V. Iastrebov, “O Borise Pavloviche Kolesnikove i pervykh shagakh deiatel’nosti komissii po okhrane prirody pri Ural’skom filiale Akademii nauk SSSR,” Izvestiia UrGU, 2002, 23: 158-68.

122 See, for instance, his popular publications, E. V. Iastrebov, Po reke Chusovoi, 2nd ed. (Sverdlovsk: Knizhnoe izdatel’stvo, 1963); and N. P. Arkhipova and E. V. Iastrebov, Kak byli otkryty Ural’skie gory (Perm’: Knizhnoe izdatel’stvo, 1971); the latter book has been reprinted three times.

123 A collection of Iastrebov’s personal papers deposited in the state archive of the Sverdlovsk region contains several unpublished manuscripts on his grandparents and other members of the extended family. See Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sverdlovskoi oblasti (hereafter GASO), f. R-2787, op. 1 (1939-1999), 263 dd.

124 Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii, p. 6.

125 See GASO, f. R-2787, op. 1, d. 119, ll. 1-226.

126 See, for instance, David M. Woodruff, Money Unmade: Barter and the Fate of Russian Capitalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000).

127 See the data on the series compiled in Z. K. Sokolovskaia and V. I. Sokolovskii, 550 knig ob uchenykh, inzhenerakh i izobretateliakh (M.: Nauka, 1999).

128 See V. A. Makarov, Ivan Timofeevich Glebov (M.: Nauka, 1995).

129 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Predislovie,” in Iastrebov, Sto neizvestnykh pisem, pp. 3-7.

130 Although his name as the actual publisher of the new edition does not figure in the book’s bibliographic record, several oblique statements in “preliminary materials” definitively point to his key role in its publication.

131 Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii, p. 130.

132 See a brief biography published on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, “Puzyrev Valerii Pavlovish (k 60-letiui so dnia rozhdeniia),” Sibirskii meditsinskii zhurnal, 2007, 2: 141-42.

133 The following story is based to a certain degree on my correspondence and conversations with Valerii Puzyrev (in St. Petersburg in October 2016), as well as his recollections written at my request.

134 V. P. Puzyrev, “Kliniko-genealogicheskoe i biokhimicheskoe issledovanie nasledstvennoi predraspolozhennosti k aterosklerozu i ishemicheskoi bolezni serdtsa,” doctoral dissertation, Novosibirsk, 1977; some materials from this dissertation were included in a book on Heredity and Atherosclerosis that Puzyrev co-authored with a member of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, see A. A. Dzizinskii and V. P. Puzyrev, Nasledstvennost’i ateroskleroz (Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1977).

135 For a brief history of the institute, see its official website at http://www.medgenetics.ru/about/history.

136 Certain elements of this gigantic project, largely those carried out by the Moscow IMG, are described in Susanne Bauer, “Mutations in Soviet Public Health Science: Post-Lysenko Medical Genetics, 1969-1991,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 2014, 30: 1-10; and idem, “Virtual Geographies of Belonging: The Case of Soviet and Post-Soviet Human Genetic Diversity Research,” Science, Technology, and Human Values, 2014, 39(4): 511-37.

137 See, for instance, V. P. Puzyrev, Mediko-geneticheskoe islledovanie naseleniia pripoliarnykh regionov (Tomsk: Izd. Tomskogo Universiteta, 1991); idem, ed., Genetika cheloveka i patologiia (Tomsk: Izd. Tomskogo universiteta, 1992); and many others.

138 See Puzyrev’s correspondence with Iastrebov in GASO, f. R-2787, op. 1, d. 213, ll. 1-12.

139 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Granitsy chelovecheskoi zhizni (V. M. Florinskii: sovremennoe zvuchanie myslei uchenogo),” Krasnoe znamia, 21 September 1993, # 209; idem, “Podvizhnik nauki. 160 let so dnia rozhdeniia professor V. M. Florinskogo,” ibid., 30 March 1994, # 78; idem, “Professor V. M. Florinskii (k 160-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia),” Nauka v Sibiri, 16 April 1994; idem, “Tomskii period zhizni i tvorchestva V. M. Florinskogo,” Vrach, 1994, 11: 47; idem, “V. M. Florinskii i ego evgenicheskie vzgliady na uluchshenie i vyrozhdenie chelovecheskogo roda,” Genetika, 1994, 30, Prilozhenie: 129.

140 Iastrebov misdated the photograph as being taken in 1861.

141 See V. P. Puzyrev, “Evgenicheskie vzgliady V. M. Florinskogo na ‘usovershenstvovanie i vyrozhdenie chelovecheskogo roda’,” in Florinskii, 1995, pp. 120-26; the same text also appeared in the Bulletin of the Tomsk Scientific Center of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Biulleten’ Tomskogo nauchnogo tsentra, 1995, 6: 23-33; while its abstract was published in the Russian journal of genetics, Genetika, 1994, 30, Prilozhenie: 129.

142 K. Garver and B. Garver, “Proekt ‘Genom cheloveka’ i evgenicheskie problemy,” in Florinskii, 1995, pp. 127-47; for the original, see Kenneth L. Garver and Bettylee Garver, “The Human Genome Project and Eugenic Concerns,” American Journal of Human Genetics, 1994, 54: 148-58.

143 V. P. Puzyrev, “About V. M. Florinskii and his Book ‘Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Race’ (1865),” in Florinskii, 1995, pp. 148-51.

144 On the debate, see Kenneth L. Garver and Bettylee Garver, “Eugenics: Past, Present, and the Future,” American Journal of Human Genetics, 1991, 49: 1109-18; Daniel J. Kevles and Leroy Hood, eds., The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993); Diana Paul, Controlling Human Heredity: 1865 to the Present (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press Intemational, 1995); idem, The Politics of Heredity: Essays on Eugenics, Biomedicine, and the Nature-Nurture Debate (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1998); and many others.

145 See V. P. Puzyrev, “‘Physiological laws of heredity’ by V. M. Florinsky,” Brazilian Journal of Genetics, 1996, 19(2): 211 (Abstracts of the 9th International Congress of Human Genetics, Rio de Janeiro, 1996).

146 V. P. Puzyrev, About V. M. Florinsky and his Book “Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Raсe” (1865) (Tomsk: Tomsk Scientific Center of the RAMS, 1996).

147 V. P. Puzyrev, “‘Hygiene of Marriage’ Concept (to the 130th Anniversary of Publishing ‘Improvement and Degeneration of the Human Raсe’ by Vassily Florinsky),” European Journal of Human Genetics, 1996, 4, Suppl. 1: 121.

148 V. P. Puzyrev, “Vol’nosti genoma i meditsinskaia patogenetika,” Biulleten’sibirskoi meditsiny, 2002, 2: 16-29. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Tomsk Medical Institute was renamed “Tomsk Medical University.”

149 The only brief notice I found has appeared in a footnote on Florinskii in the introduction to Pchelov’s compilation, see E. V. Pchelov, “Evgenika i genealogiia v othechestvennoi nauke 1920-kh godov,” in idem, ed. Rodoslovnaia genial’nosti: Iz istorii othechestvennoi nauki 1920-kh gg., pp. 7-60, the reference is in fn. 11 (p. 13).

150 See E. V. Iastrebov, Vasilii Markovich Florinskii v Peterburgskoi medikokhirurgicheskoi akademii (M.: MPU “Signal”, 1999), pp. 91-92.

151 See, for instance, A. A. Sechenova, “Vasilii Markovich Florinskii — pervyi popechitel’Zapadno-Sibirskogo uchebnogo okruga,” Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo instituta, 2009, 12: 139-41; I. A. Dunbinskii, “Rol’V. M. Florinskogo v formirovanii uchebno-vspomogatel’nykh uchrezhdenii Tomskogo imperatorskogo universiteta,” Kul’tura, Dukhovnost’, Obshchestvo (Novosibirsk), 2013, 5: 46-49; A. I. Teriukov, “V. M. Florinskii i M. K. Sidorov,” Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, Istoriia, 2013, 2 (22): 199-202; N. A. Kachin, “V. M. Florinskii: V poiskakh sibirskoi modeli ‘klassicheskogo universiteta’,” ibid., 2015, 6 (38): 11-18; idem, “Sobiraia ‘Khranilishche dukhovnoi pishchi’: iz istorii sozdaniia V. M. Florinskim knizhnogo fonda nauchnoi biblioteki Tomrskogo universiteta,” ibid., 2016, 406: 90-97; V. A. Bubnov, “Vasilii Markovich Florinskii — organizator i sozdatel’nauki v Sibiri,” Vestnik Kurganskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Fiziologiia, 2014, 1 (32): 3-16; and many others.

152 V. P. Puzyrev, “V. M. Florinskii i Tomskoe obshchestvo estestvoispytatelei,” Sibirskii meditsinskii zhurnal (Tomsk), 1999, 14(1-2): 87-91.

153 See, Iu. A. Ozheredov, “Nauchnaia konferentsiia, posviashchennaia 130-letiiu muzeia arkheologii i etnografii Sibiri im. V. M. Florinskogo TGU,” Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, Istoriia, 2013, 2 (22): 7-9.

154 Florinskii, 2012, pp. 44-134.

155 Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001). See also Francine Hirsch, Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005).

156 See, for instance, Marlène Laruelle, Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008); Stephen Shenfield, Russian Fascism: Traditions, Tendencies and Movements (London: Routledge, 2001); Wendy Helleman, ed., The Russian Idea: In Search of a New Identity (Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2004); Hilary Pilkington, Elena Omel’chenko, and Al’bina Garifzianova, Russia’s Skinheads: Exploring and Rethinking Subcultural Lives (London: Routledge, 2010); John Garrard and Carol Garrard, Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent: Faith and Power in the New Russia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014); Pal Kolstø and Helge Blakkisrud, eds., The New Russian Nationalism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016); and many others.

157 On the place of raciology among other contemporary ideological constructs, see Mark Bassin, “‘What is More Important: Blood or Soil?’: Rasologiia contra Eurasianism,” in Mark Bassin and Gonzaldo Pozo, eds., The Politics of Eurasianism: Identity, Popular Culture and Russia’s Foreign Policy (London: Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), pp. 39-58.

158 For Avdeev’s “literary and scientific biography” up to 2012, published on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday in the notorious nationalist newspaper Za russkoe delo, see “Literaturnaia nauchnaia biografiia V. B. Avdeeva,” http://www.zrd.spb.ru/news/2012-01/news-0236.htm; Avdeev’s personal page on the Russian social media site “In-Contact” contains a wealth of relevant materials: https://vk.com/racology. Avdeev also maintains his own website for “raciology” at http://racology.ru/avdeyev-vladimir-borisovich or http://racology.ru. However, several websites maintained by Russian nationalists since 2001 that carried nearly all of Avdeev’s publications, as well as numerous commentaries, are no longer available, for instance, http://www.xpomo.com/ruskolan/start.htm; or have changed their address, for instance, http://www.velesova-sloboda.org became https://www.velesova-sloboda.info/start/index.html.

159 See, V. B. Avdeev, Strasti po Gabrieliu (M.: Stolitsa, 1990); and idem, Protezist (Kharkov: n. p., 1992).

160 After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Union of Soviet Writers (established at Stalin’s direction in 1934) split into two separate, antagonistic organizations, a “democratic” Russia’s Union of Writers (Rossiiskii soiuz pisatelei) and a “patriotic” Writers Union of Russia (Soiuz pisatelei Rossii). For a general overview of these unions, see N. N. Shneidman, Russian Literature, 1995-2002: On the Threshold of the New Millennium (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).

161 V. B. Avdeev, Preodolenie khristianstva (M.: Kap’, 1994). The book was reprinted in 2006 and 2011 and became the subject of scholarly works and dissertations. See, for instance, O. V. Aseev, “Iazychestvo v sovremennoi Rossii: Sotsial’nyi i etnopoliticheskii aspekty,” doctoral dissertation, Moscow, 1999; A. V. Gaidukov, “Ideologiia i praktika slavianskogo neoiazychestva,” doctoral dissertation, St. Petersburg, 2000; A. V. Puchkov, “Neoiazychestvo v sovremennoi evropeiskoi kul’ture na primere rassovykh teorii,” doctoral dissertation, Rostov-na-Donu, 2005; and S. M. Petkova, A. V. Puchkov, Neoiazychestvo v sovremennoi evropeiskoi kul’ture (Rostov-na-Donu: RGUPS, 2009).

162 Avdeev later collected many of these early articles into a single volume published under the ambiguous title “Metaphysical Anthropology,” see V. B. Avdeev, Metafizicheskaia antropologiia (M.: Belye al’vy, 2002); the volume was hailed as a symbol of neo-paganism, see, for instance, A. B. Iartsev, Kniga V. B. Avdeeva “Metafizicheskaia antropologiia” kak kharakternyi logotip sovremennogo iazychestva (M.: MAKS, 2009).

163 For a detailed general analysis of racism in contemporary Russia and the role of Avdeev in its popularization, see Nikolay Zakharov, Race and Racism in Russia (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

164 For a general analysis of the resurgence of racism in post-communist regimes, see Ian Law, Red Racisms: Racism in Communist and Post-Communist Contexts (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

165 V. B. Avdeev and A. N. Savel’ev, eds., Rasovyi smysl russkoi idei, 2 vols. (M.: Belye al’vy, 2002). See the table of contents of the two volumes https://www.velesova-sloboda.info/antrop/rasovyy-smysl-russkoy-idei.html.

166 V. B. Avdeev, ed., Russkaia rasovaia teorii do 1917 goda, 2 vols. (M.: FERI-V, 2002-04). This anthology, along with many other publications by Avdeev, is freely available online at various sites, for instance, at Librusec, a major Russian internet library, http://lib.rus.ec/a/26150.

167 See Liudvig Vol’tman, Politicheskaia antropologiia (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2000); for the German original see Ludwig Woltmann, Politische Anthropologie (Jena: Diederichs, 1903). See also Karl Shtrats, Rasovaia zhenskaia krasota (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2004); for the German original see Carl H. Stratz, Die Rassenschönheit des Weibes (Stuttgart: Enke, 1901). For various works by Ernst Krieck, the leading Nazi theorist in the field of pedagogy, see Ernst Krik, Preodolenie idealizma. Osnovy rasovoi pedagogiki (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2004). For a number of articles by the leading Nazi racial hygienist Hans Friedrich Karl Günther published during the 1930s and 1940s, see Gans F. K. Giunter, Izbrannye rabory po rasologii (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2004).

168 V. B. Avdeed, Rasologiia: nauka o nasledstvennykh kachestvakh liudei (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2005).

169 See, T. I. Alekseeva et. al., “Retsidivy shovinizma i rasovoi neterpimosti,” Priroda, 2003, 6: 80-81.

170 See V. A. Shnirel’man, “Rasizm vchera i segodnia,” Pro et Contra, 2005, 5: 41-65, http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2006/0233/analit02.php; idem, “Rasologiia v deistvii: mechty deputata Savel’eva,” in A. M. Verkhovskii, ed., Verkhi i nizy russkogo natsionalizma (M.: Tsentr “Sova”, 2007), pp. 162-87; and idem, “‘Tsepnoi pes rasy’: divannaia rasologiia kak zashchitnitsa ‘belogo cheloveka’,” in ibid., pp. 188-208; an expanded version of the latter article is available at https://scepsis.net/library/id_1597.html; see also a lengthy review of Avdeev’s Raciology by the leading specialist of the St. Petersburg Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Alexander Kozintsev, “Rasolog Vladimir Avdeev izuchaet izviliny v mozge vraga,” in Kritika rasizma v sovremennoi Rossii i nauchnyi vzgliad na problemu etnokul’turnogo raznoobraziia (M.: Academia, 2008), pp. 19-40.

171 See V. A. Shnirel’man, “Porog tolerantnosti”: Ideologiia i praktika novogo racizma, 2 vols. (M.: NLO, 2011-14).

172 Shnirel’man, “‘Tsepnoi pes rasy’,” pp. 192-93.

173 See, for instance, his response to Priroda’s article in the foreword to the second volume of his anthology, V. B. Avdeev, “Russkaia rasovaia teoriia do 1917 goda (prodolzhenie nachatoi temy),” in idem, ed., Russkaia rasovaia teoriia do 1917 goda (M.: FERI-V, 2004), vol. 2, pp. 5-67.

174 See V. B. Avdeev and A. N. Sevast’ianov, Rasa i etnos (M.: Knizhnyi mir, 2007); and V. B. Avdeev, Istoriia angliiskoi rasologii (M.: Belye al’vy, 2010). For the full list of the publications on raciology under the White Elves trademark, see http://shop.influx.ru/-c-30_34.html?page=2&sort=products_sort_order.

175 Vladimir Avdeyev, Raciology: The Science of the Hereditary Traits of Peoples, transl. by Patrick Cloutier (Morrisville, NC: Lulu, 2011).

176 On Draper and his “Pioneer Fund,” see William H. Tucker, The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2002).

177 See http://www.zrd.spb.ru/news/2012-01/news-0236.htm.

178 See Dzh. F. Rashton, Rasa, evoliutsiia i povedenie (M.: Profit-Stail, 2011). For Avdeev’s own description of his involvement with the publication of this book, see http://концептуал.рф/vladimir-avdeev-obzor-rasologicheskih-http://novinok.

179 See https://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/vladimir_avdeyevs_raciology. One of the latest additions to Avdeev’s “Library of Racial Thought” was a Russian translation of Taylor’s 2014 book Face to Face with Race, see Dzhared Teilor, Litsom k litsu s rasoi (M.: Belye al’vy, 2016).

180 See the text of the court decision at http://www.zrd.spb.ru/news/2011-02/news-0756.htm. See also a response by the publisher at http://www.zrd.spb.ru/news/2010-02/news-0830.htm.

181 The journal’s title was probably a veiled reference to “Ahnenerbe,” an infamous Nazi society for the “study of the German ancestral heritage” founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935.

182 V. Avdeev, “Svoboda lichnosti i rasovaia gigiena,” Nasledie predkov, 1997, 3, http://cultoboz.ru/np3/292-cboo----.

183 Vladimir Avdeev, “Geneticheskii socialism,” Nasledie predkov, 1997, 4: 9-15; all the subsequent quotations are from this source.

184 N. K. Kol’tsov, “Rassovo-gigienicheskoe dvizhenie v Rossii,” Nasledie predkov, 1998, 5: 41-42; for the German original, see N. Koltzoff[Kol’tsov], “Die rassenhygienische Bewegung in Russland,” ARGB, 1925, 17: 96-103.

185 V. Avdeev, “Nikolai Konstantinovich Kol’tsov,” Nasledie predkov, 1998, 5: 41.

186 Thus, he included his articles on eugenics published during the late 1990s into his collections on Metaphysical Anthropology and The Racial Essence of the Russian Idea.

187 V. M. Avdeev, ed., Russkaia evgenika. Sbornik original’nykh rabot russkikh uchenykh (khrestomatiia) (M.: Belye al’vy, 2012).

188 It also included publications by several much less known proponents of eugenics in Russia, such as the hygienist Kazimir Karafa-Korbut, the biochemist Boris Slovtsov, the psychiatrist Viktor Osipov, and the forensic expert Aleksander Kriukov.

189 On the “patriotic” campaigns, see Krementsov, Stalinist Science.

190 See Florinskii, 2012, pp. 44-134.

191 Vladimir Avdeev, “Ideologiia russkoi evgeniki,” in idem, Russkaia evgenika, pp. 3-43.

192 See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXAhjTM6Ta8; there are more than seventy videos featuring Avdeev on YouTube.

193 See, for instance, A. Ia. Ivaniushkin, Iu. E. Lapin, V. I. Smirnov, “Evgenika: ot utopii k nauke i …ot nauki k utopii,” Rossiiskii pediatricheskii zhurnal, 2013, 2: 55-59; K. A. Barsht, “Medved’-kuznets iz povesti A. Platonova ‘Kotlovan’ i opyty I. I. Ivanova po sozdaniiu gibrida cheloveka i obez’iany,” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2015, 6, http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2015/6/medved-kuznec-iz-povesti-platonova-kotlovan-i-opyty-ii-ivanova-.html%23_ftnref3; N. V. Mikhalenko, “Simvolika Vavilonskoi bashni v ‘Puteshestvii moego brata Alekseia v stranu krest’ianskoi utopii’ A. V. Chaianova,” Problemy istoricheskoi poetiki, 2016, 14: 428-40; and R. N. Gaishun, “Teoreticheskie i institutsional’nye predposylki stanovleniia evgeniki v Rossii i SSSR,” in Chelovek v Mire. Mir v Cheloveke (Perm: PGNIU, 2016), pp. 38-46.

194 See Roman Raskol’nikov at http://zavtra.ru/blogs/apostrof-42; and http://lurkmore.to/%D0%95%D0%B2%D0%B3%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D0%B0; and Igor Sokolov at https://vk.com/topic-27125505_26811584; and http://russian7.ru/post/russkayaevgenika-kak-sozdat-idealn.

195 Adams, Networks in Action.

196 See R. Vagner i G. Mitchell, Genetika i obmen veshchestv (M.: Izdatel’stvo inostrannoi literatury, 1958); Dzh. Nil’and U. Shell, Nasledstvennost’u cheloveka (M.: Inostrannaia literatura, 1958); Sh. Auerbakh, Genetika v atomnom veke (M.: Atomizdat, 1959); K. Shtern, Osnovy genetiki cheloveka (M.: Meditsina, 1965); V. A. Makk’iusik, Genetika cheloveka (M.: Mir, 1967); A. Stivenson and B. Davison, Mediko-geneticheskoe konsul’tirovanie (M.: Mir, 1972).

197 See, S. N. Ardashnikov, “Predislovie k russkomu izdaniiu,” in Nil’and Shell, Nasledstvennost’u cheloveka, pp. 5-6.

198 See the last chapter, “Eugenika,” in ibid., pp. 374-88.

199 See, for instance, a foreword to the translation of Curt Stern’s Principles of Human Genetics, Redaktory, “Predislovie k russkomu izdaniiu,” in Kurt Shtern, Osnovy genetiki cheloveka (M.: Meditsina, 1965), p. 5.

200 See N. P. Bochkov, ed., Genetika i meditsina: Itogi XIV Mezhdunarodnogo geneticheskogo kongressa (M.: Meditsina, 1979); and M. E. Vartanian, ed., Genetika i blagosostoianie chelovechestva: Trudy XIV mezhdunarodnogo geneticheskogo kongressa, Moskva, 21–30 avgusta 1978 (M.: Nauka, 1981).

201 For a general analysis of the situation, see Loren R. Graham and Irina Dezhina, Science in the New Russia: Crisis, Aid, Reform (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2008).

202 For a detailed analysis of the International Science Foundation’s work in 1990s Russia, see Irina Dezhina, The International Science Foundation: The Preservation of Basic Science in the Former Soviet Union (New York: OSI, 2000).

203 See, for instance, Mark G. Field, “The Health Crisis in the Former Soviet Union: A Report from the ‘Post-War’ Zone,” Social Science and Medicine, 1995, 41 (11): 1469-78; and Mark G. Field and Judith L. Twigg, eds., Russia’s Torn Safety Nets: Health and Social Welfare during the Transition (New York: St. Martin’s, 2000).

204 See, for instance, John M. Kramer, “Drug Abuse in Russia: An Emerging Threat,” Problems of Post-Communism, 2011, 58(1): 31-43;

205 See, for instance, Michele Rivkin-Fish, Women’s Health in Post-Soviet Russia: The Politics of Intervention (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2005).

206 See, for instance, K. K. Borisenko, L. I. Tichonova, and A. M. Renton, “Syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections in the Russian Federation,” International Journal of STDs and AIDS, 1999, 10 (10): 665-8; and Michael Z. David, “Social Welfare or Wasteful Excess?: The Legacy of Soviet Tuberculosis Programs in Post-Soviet Russia,” in T. Lahusen and P. H. Solomon, eds., What is Soviet Now?: Identities, Legacies, Memories (Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2008), pp. 214-33.

207 At the administrative level, they managed to accomplish this task quite successfully. At the very end of 1993, the Russian Ministry of Health Protection issued a special order (no. 316) that outlined an extensive programme of creating “medico-genetic services” throughout the country. But the order was not backed by funding and, for almost a decade, its implementation depended on the ability of medical geneticists to marshal necessary resources elsewhere. For the complete text of the order and its subsequent revisions in 2001 and 2003, see http://lawrussia.ru/texts/legal_382/doc382a880x203.htm.

208 This line of research became an important part of the Tomsk IMG agendas in the late 1990s and early 2000s. See, for instance, Genetiko-ekologicheskaia otsenka sostoianiia zdorov’ia zhitelei Iakutii (Iakutsk: n. p., 2001); and Iaderno-khimicheskoe proizvodstvo i geneticheskoe zdorov’e (Tomsk: Pechatnaia manufaktura, 2004).

209 See V. Avdeev, “Restavrator russkogo mirovozzreniia V. M. Florinskii,” in V. M. Florinskii, Pervobytnye slaviane po pamiatnikam ikh doistoricheskoi zhizni: opyt slavianskoi arkheologii (M.: Belye Al’vy, 2015), pp. 3-19.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 7-1. Iurii Filipchenko (in the center of the first row) with his students: Theodosius Dobzhansky (left in the second row) and Ivan Kanaev (third from the left in the second row), 1925. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of N. Medvedev.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 207k
Légende Fig. 7-2. Gregor Mendel’s bust in front of Ivan Pavlov’s Laboratory for the Experimental Genetics of Higher Nervous Activity in Koltushi. An inscription on the building’s façade reproduces Pavlov’s motto: “Scrutiny and Scrutiny.” After August 1948, the bust was removed and put in storage. It was restored to its prominent place only in the 1960s. Photo by the author, 2016.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 150k
Légende Fig. 7-3. The coverpage of the second issue of Soviet Eugenics, 1991. The inscription states that the journal is “recommended to biologists, evolutionary geneticists, breeders, anthropologists, physicians, psychologists, demographers, sociologists, economists, historians, party and state officials.” Courtesy of BAN.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 190k
Légende Fig. 7-4. A bronze medal, commemorating Vasilii Florinskii. The artist A. Shamaev, 1990. The author’s collection. The medal’s obverse (a) presents a portrait of Florinskii loosely modelled after his photograph taken in Paris (see fig. 1-4) with an inscription: “the founder of the country’s first pediatrics department, 1865.” The medal’s reverse (b) carries a stylized image of the main building of the Military-Medical Academy, with inscription “Founded in 1798.” Sometime in the 1940s, the British Eugenics Society issued a “Galton Gold Medal” awarded “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the study of eugenics and unremitting service to the Society.” As far as I was able to determine, it was awarded only twice: in 1946 to Alexander Carr-Saunders, the Society’s one time President, and in 1957 to C. P. Blacker, for many years the Society’s General Secretary. Alas, my efforts to find the medal, its photograph, or even its description failed.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 125k
Légende Fig. 7-5. Evgenii Iastrebov’s “family tree” that demonstrates his relations to Vasilii Florinskii. Following the customary rules of “eugenic” genealogies, the male members of the family are represented by squares, female by circles. The tree starts with Florinskii’s parents Mark Florinskii and Maria Andreeva, followed by Vasilii Florinskii and his older sister Maria (omitting all other siblings). The square representing Vasilii Florinskii has a boxed comment: “this book is about him and his contemporaries,” while the last square on the diagram, representing Iastrebov, identifies him as “the author of the present book.” From E. Iastrebov, ed., Sto neizvestnykh pisem russkikh uchenykh i gosudarstvennykh deiatelei Vasiliiu Markovichu Florinskomu (Tomsk: Izd-vo Tomskogo Universiteta, 1995), p. 6. Courtesy of BAN.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Légende Fig. 7-6. Photograph of Valerii Puzyrev, c.2000. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of V. Puzyrev.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 162k
Légende Fig. 7-7. The title page of the third edition of Vasilii Florinskii’s Human Perfection and Degeneration, published by Puzyrev in 1995 with Tomsk University Press. Courtesy of V. Puzyrev.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 79k
Légende Fig. 7-8. Vladimir Avdeev, a portrait by Roman Iashin, oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, c.1998. The portrait clearly depicts its subject as a blue-eyed, blond “Aryan,” which contrasts markedly with his actual appearance (see fig. 7-9). From Avdeev’s personal page at http://racology.ru/​galereya. Courtesy of V. Avdeevand R. Iashin.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 124k
Légende Fig. 7-9. Vladimir Avdeev with Jared Taylor in Moscow, 2016. Photographer unknown. From Avdeev’s personal page at http://racology.ru/​galereya. Courtesy of V. Avdeev. A similar photo of Avdeev with Sam Dickson (Moscow, 2016) is available on the same website.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 104k
Légende Fig. 7-10. The cover page of Russian Eugenics, published in 2012 as part of the “Library of Racial Thought” under the “White Elves” trademark, which opened with another edition of Florinskii’s treatise. The subtitle identifies the volume as a “collection of original works by Russian scientists (a reader) edited by V. B. Avdeev.” The author’s collection.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/7411/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 76k

Acheter

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search