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Wacław Gajewski

Wacław Gajewski
Born 1911
Kraków, Poland
Died December 12, 1997(1997-12-12)
Warszawa, Poland
Nationality Polish
Fields Genetics
Alma mater Uniwersytet Warszawski
Known for Work on Geum and fungal genetics; establishment of polish genetics

Wacław Gajewski (1911, Kraków – 12 December 1997, Warszawa) was a Polish geneticist, one of the founders of the Polish post-war genetics and author of numerous academic and popular scientific books.


Shortly after the war, in 1948 Gajewski was one of the few Polish biologists who opposed the official "new biology", lysenkoism -- a pseudoscientific theory of genetics proposed by the Soviet agronomist, Trofim Lysenko. Consequently, for almost ten years of the Stalinism era, Gajewski was not allowed any contacts to students; however, he was permitted to continue his scientific work.[1]

In 1956, with the fall of the Stalinism era and the diminishing importance of lysenkoism, Gajewski was allowed to hold a position of lecturer at the Uniwersytet Warszawski, where two years later, the first Polish department of genetics was established under his leadership.

During the years 1967-1981 Gajewski was the director of the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 1981, when martial law was introduced in Poland, Gajewski (then retired) was initially on the list of Polish scientists that were to be arrested.

Scientific career

Gajewski first published in 1932. He soon became interested in cytogenetics and molecular genetics.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Gajewski was working on the genetics of the genus Geum.[2] Later, he published several acknowledged papers in the area of funghal genetics.[3]


  1. ^ Gajewski W. (1990). "Lysenkoism in Poland". The Quarterly Review of Biology 65 (4): 423–34.  
  2. ^ Gajewski Wacław (1957). "A cytogenetic study on the genus Geum". Monogr. Bot. 4: 1–416. 
  3. ^ Perkins David (2003). "Wacslaw Gajewski, 1911-1997". Fungal Genetics Newsletter. 

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