Home > Research > AIDS and Society Research Unit > Publications > Publications All > Pub home > Echoes of Lysenko: State-Sponsored Pseudo-Science in South Africa

Echoes of Lysenko: State-Sponsored Pseudo-Science in South Africa

Year: 2005
Author: Geffen, Nathan
Unit: ASRU
Journal: Social Dynamics
Volume: 31
Issue: 2
Pages: 183-210
Abstract:

A major factor hampering the rollout of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) for HIV/AIDS in the public health sector is state support of pseudoscience. This paper examines state-sponsored pseudo-science in South Africa with a particular focus on the case of Matthias Rath and his claim that HAART is an ineffective and harmful form of treatment and that multivitamins should instead be used as a substitute to treat and cure AIDS. The paper examines similarities and differences between state support in South Africa for AIDS-denialists such as Rath and state support in the former Soviet Union for Lysenko, a pseudo-scientist who lacked scientific training. In both cases, state support for pseudo-science has had policy implications, and resulted in many deaths.


TOP