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January 20, 2018

113 – The Tragic Story of Nikolai Vavilov / Science Moms Documentary


 Nikolai Vavilov was a Russian scientist in the early 1900’s.  He was known for his characterization of plants, understanding crop domestication, and the centers of origin for many species. He traveled the world with expedition parties to identify and characterize plant species. His collections of seed and samples were extensive, and he was noted as one of the great scientists of the time, and understood inheritance while scientists were developing the concept of a gene. However, as Stalin rose to power Vavilov’s work was less appreciated. His Darwinian concepts were inconsistent with the interests of the government doctrine, which would ultimately lead to his imprisonment and slow execution.  The story is told by Dr. Jules Janick, Distinguished Professor at Purdue University.

In the second half of the podcast I speak with Natalie Newell, Director and Producer of the Science Moms documentary.  The film provides interviews with five different mothers that are forced to navigate a maze of parenting misinformation available on the internet.  They also are scientists or science communicators, providing unique insights and analysis of moms tired of attempts of shaming and manipulation, driven by unscrupulous marketers and activists. We also address the claims that it was “all paid for and developed by an agrotech PR firm.”

Watch the Science Moms trailer

Science Moms website

Follow Natalie Newell  on Twitter; @ncnewell

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