Sergei Chetverikov

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Sergei Chetverikov
Born6 May 1880
Died2 July 1959(1959-07-02) (aged 79)
ResidenceRussia, USSR
CitizenshipRussian, Soviet
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, genetics, theory of evolution
InstitutionsNikolai Koltsov Institute of Experimental Biology

Sergei Sergeevich Chetverikov (Сергей Сергеевич Четвериков, 6 May 1880 – 2 July 1959) was one of the early contributors to the development of the field of genetics. His research showed how early genetic theories applied to natural populations, and has therefore contributed towards the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory.

Between the two World Wars, Soviet biological research managed to connect genetics with field research on natural populations. Chetverikov lead a team at the Nikolai Koltsov Institute of Experimental Biology in Moscow, and in 1926 produced what should have been one of the landmark papers of the modern synthesis. However, published only in Russian, it was largely ignored in the English-speaking world (though J.B.S. Haldane possessed a translation).

Chetverikov influenced several Russian geneticists who later came to work in the West, such as Theodosius Dobzhansky and Timofeev-Ressovsky, both of whom continued to work in a similar style. The significance of Chetverikov's work came to light much later, by which time the evolutionary synthesis was virtually complete.[1][2]

He was arrested by OGPU in 1929 and sent to exile to Yekaterinburg for five years. He later moved to Nizhny Novgorod and organized the Department of Genetics at Gorky University. He was dismissed from his post at the behest of Lysenko in 1948.[3]


  1. ^ Adams, Mark. Sergei Chetverikov, the Kol'tsov Institute, and the evolutionary synthesis. In Mayr & Provine The Evolutionary Synthesis 1998.
  2. ^ Chetverikov S.S. On certain aspects of the evolutionary process from the standpoint of modern genetics. (transl. of 1921 paper by Malina Parker; ed I.M. Lerner) Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 105, 167-195. 1961.
  3. ^ Vadim J. Birstein. The Perversion Of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science. Westview Press (2004) ISBN 0-8133-4280-5

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