The 'KR Affair': Soviet Science on the Threshold of the Cold War

The 'Kliueva-Roskin affair' of 1946-1947 is virtually unknown to Soviet and Western historians of science alike, but newly discovered archives show that it constituted a critical turning point in post-war Soviet science. In early 1946 Moscow clinician Nina Kliueva, together with her husband Georgii Roskin (a Moscow University professor), published experimental results suggesting that malignant tumor growth could be inhibited by a preparation ('KR') made from the protozoan, Trypanosoma cruzi. This putative cancer cure attracted considerable attention from the American medical community and triggered an active exchange of scientific delegations and medical information between the USA and the USSR. In the summer of 1947, this exchange was used as a pretext by the Communist Party's Politburo to stage an 'honor court' show trial on the 'Kliueva-Roskin affair,' where they were accused of 'unpatriotic behavior' and 'servility to the West'. The ensuing 'patriotic campaign' reestablished tight Party control over the Soviet scientific community and severed its newly established scientific contacts with the West, paving the way for Lysenko's triumph in 1948
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