An exhibition of the life of Nikolai Ivanovich

Jeremy has his latest Eat This Newsletter out. Do subscribe if you’re minded to, there’s always great stuff there. Here’s a taster. To get the reference at the end, you’ll have to read the whole newsletter :)

In 1932, Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov – the man who more or less invented the modern genebank and first understood the importance of crop diversity – visited Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He was there for the Sixth International Congress of Genetics and it was his final trip outside the USSR, because the forces of unreason were already pouring their poison into Stalin’s open ears.

Ninety years on, The Mann Library at Cornell has mounted an exhibit about Vavilov. Cultivating Silence: Nikolai Vavilov and the Suppression of Science in the Modern Era demonstrates the importance of Vavilov’s work and how he and genetics fell foul of Soviet science in the 1930s. I would be there if I possibly could. Instead, I’ll content myself with visiting The Mann’s Library’s online introduction to Vavilov and Cornell, a marvellous jumping-off point for anyone interested in the subject.

Oh, and, about that proletarian food movement…

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