Medvedev, Zhores Alexandrovich

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(b. 1925), biochemist and author.

Zhores Alexandrovich Medvedev was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. He is the identical twin brother of historian Roy Alexandrovich Medvedev. Zhores Medvedev graduated from the Timiryazev Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1950 and received a master's degree in biology from the Moscow Institute of Plant Physiology that same year. Between 1951 and 1962 he conducted research at the Timiryazev Academy and soon earned international acclaim for his work on protein biosynthesis and the physiology of the aging process.

In addition to his reputation as a biologist and a gerontologist, Medvedev is known for his criticism of the Lysenko regime in Soviet science. His book The Rise and Fall of the Lysenko Regime circulated in samizdat versions in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and was published in the West in 1969. Medvedev was forbidden to travel abroad and was kept under strict KGB surveillance. On May 29, 1970, Medvedev was arrested in his home and put into a mental hospital in the provincial town of Kaluga. He was kept there for two weeks while a psychiatric committee attempted to rationalize his confinement in medical terms.

On his first trip abroad, to London in 1973, Medvedev's Soviet citizenship was revoked, and he settled in London as an émigré. His Soviet citizenship was restored in 1990, and his numerous works have subsequently been published in Russia. Apart from numerous articles and papers on gerontology, genetics, and biochemistry, he has authored books on such important figures as Yuri Andropov and Mikhail Gorbachev and written on Soviet nuclear disasters and Soviet science in general.

See also: lysenko, trofim denisovich; medvedev, roy alexander


Medvedev, Zhores A., and Medvedev, Roy A. (1971). A Question of Madness. New York: Knopf.

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