Lysenko Award Announced

John Goodman and I have decided to create a Lysenko award for the publication of health policy research findings that are the least likely to be true.

 The award is in honor of Trofim Lysenko, a Lamarckian who believed that acquired characteristics can be inherited. For example, a giraffe that develops a stronger neck as a result of reaching for fruit high in a tree can pass those strong muscles on to its offspring whether or not those offspring exercise. Lysenko set back Soviet biological science and Soviet agriculture for decades. When academic geneticists became too much of a nuisance, he had them executed.

Although there were many worthy entries for our award and competition was fierce, today’s winner is a study [gated, but with abstract] in Health Services Research with this beginning:

Objective: We assessed how Medicaid enrollment and race influence cancer incidence among patients age 65 years and older.

Hey, we don’t like Medicaid either. But can it really cause cancer?

Comments (4)

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  1. Jason says:

    Linda, there must be dozens of other worthy candidates for this award. I hope we see many more bestowals.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Judy says:

    I thought the giraffe developed a long neck (not a strong neck) because the fruit was high in the tree.

    Anyway, where do we submit nominations for this award?

  3. Craig says:

    I agree with Jason. If you put your mind to it, you could probably come up with a worthy recipient once a week.

  4. Tim says:

    Your sights are too low Craig. I would have said once a day.