VASKhNIL (Russian: ВАСХНИЛ) was the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences of the Soviet Union (the acronym stands for "Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences" or "V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences," "Всесоюзная академия сельскохозяйственных наук имени В. И. Ленина"). Built upon the model of the Academy of Sciences of USSR, VASKhNIL included not only a body of academicians but a vast network of research institutions scattered all over the country with thousands of researchers, plant and cattle breeders.

It operated from 1929 to 1992 (dissolution of the Soviet Union). In the 1930s - 1940s, meetings of the academy members ("sessions" of VASKhNIL) provided the floor for debates between Lysenkoists and geneticists. After Trofim Lysenko had taken control over the Academy, it became for about thirty years a stronghold of Lysenkoism. The proverbial among Russian biologists "August session of VASKhNIL" (July 31 - August 7, 1948) organised under control of the Communist party (Joseph Stalin personally corrected the drafts of the Trofim Lysenko's opening address "On the Situation in Biological Science") led to a formal ban on teaching "Mendelist-Weismannist-Morganist" genetics (a pejorative label based on the names of Gregor Mendel, August Weismann, and Thomas Hunt Morgan), which was effective until the early 1960s.

VASKhNIL Presidents

  • 1929 — 1935 — Nikolai Vavilov
  • 1935 — 1937 — Alexander Muralov
  • 1938 — 1956 — Trofim Lysenko
  • 1959 — 1961 — Pavel Lobanov
  • 1961 — 1962 — Trofim Lysenko, second term
  • 1962 — 1965 — Mikhail Olshanskiy
  • 1965 — 1978 — Pavel Lobanov, second term
  • 1978 — 1983 — Petr Vavilov
  • 1984 — 1992 — Alexander Nikonov


On February 4, 1992 the Academy ceased to exist. Its successor institution is the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Russian: РАСН).

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