Poltava is a city located on the Vorskla River in central Ukraine. It is of the surrounding Poltava Raion of the oblast. Poltava is administratively incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion, it is still unknown when Poltava was founded, although the town was not attested before 1174. However, for reasons unknown, municipal authorities chose to celebrate the city's 1100th anniversary in 1999; the settlement is indeed an old one, as archeologists unearthed a Paleolithic dwelling as well as Scythian remains within the city limits. The present name of the city is traditionally connected to the settlement Ltava, mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle in 1174. According to the chronicle, on Saint Peter's Day of 1182, Igor Sviatoslavich, chasing hordes of the Cuman khans Konchak and Kobiak, crossed the Vorskla River near Ltava and moved towards Pereyaslav, where Igor's army was victorious over the Cumans. During the Mongol invasion of Rus' in 1238–39 many cities of the middle Dnieper region were destroyed including Ltava.
In the mid 14th century the region was part of the Duchy of Kiev, a vassal of the Algirdas' Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to the Russian historian Aleksandr Shennikov, the region around modern Poltava was a Cuman Duchy belonging to Mansur, a son of Mamai. Shennikov claims that the Mansur Duchy joined the Grand Duchy of Lithuania as an associated state rather than a vassal state, that the city of Poltava existed at that time. In 1399 the army of Mansur assisted the army of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the battle of the Vorskla River, while a legend says that after the battle, the Cossack Mamay helped Vytautas to escape his death; the city is mentioned for the first time under the name of Poltava no than 1430. In 1430 the Lithuanian duke Vytautas gave the city, along with Glinsk and Glinitsa, to Murza Olexa, who moved to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the Golden Horde. In 1430 Murza Olexa was baptized as Alexander Glinsky, a progenitor of the Glinsky family. According to Shenninkov, Alexander Glinsky must have been baptized in 1390 by Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev, who had just regained his title of Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia and on 6 March 1390 permanently moved to Muscovy.
In 1482 Poltava was razed by the Crimean Khan Mengli I Giray. In 1537 Ografena Vasylivna Glinska passed Poltava to her son-in-law Mykhailo Ivanovych Hrybunov-Baibuza. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the territory around Poltava became part of the Crown of Poland. In 1630 Poltava was passed to Bartholomew Obalkowski. In 1641 it changed ownership again, to Alexander Koniecpolski. In 1646 Poltava became part of Wiśniowiecki Ordynatsia, governed by the Ruthenian-Polish magnate Jeremi Wiśniowiecki. In 1648 the city became the base of a distinguished regiment of Ukrainian Cossacks, served as a Cossack stronghold during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. In 1650, to commemorate a victory of the Cossack Host over the Polish army at the Poltavka River, the Metropolitan of Kiev, Sylvester Kossov, ordered the establishment of the monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross in Poltava; the project was financed by a number of prominent local residents, including Martyn Pushkar, Ivan Iskra, Ivan Kramar and many others.
During the 1654 Pereyaslav Council, the Poltava city delegates pledged their allegiance to the Czar of Muscovy, after which stolnik Andrei Spasitelev arrived in Poltava and recorded 1,335 residents who had pledged their allegiance. In 1658 Poltava became a center of anti-government revolt led by Martyn Pushkar, who contested the legitimacy of Ivan Vyhovsky's election to the post of Hetman of Zaporizhian Host; the uprising was extinguished with the help of Crimean Tatars. On the issue boyar Vasily Borisovich Sheremetev wrote to Alexei Mikhailovich on 8 June 1658: "... the Cherkas city of Plotava is ravaged and burned to the ground and only if the Great Sovereign orders to rebuilt on the Tatar Sokma of Bakeyev Route and protect many his sovereign cities from Tatar visits. And if the Great Sovereign allows to place a voivode in the city and rebuilt the city until the fall that in Plotava Cherkasy and residents built their houses and stock-piled their food". With the signing of the 1667 truce of Andrusovo, the city was subjected to the Tsardom of Muscovy, while remaining part of the Cossack Hetmanate.
The city suffered from the Great Turkish War when in 1695 Petro Ivanenko led an anti-Muscovite uprising with the help of Crimean Tatars, who ravaged the local monastery. The same year the Poltava Regiment participated in the Azov campaigns which resulted in the taking of the Turkish fortress of Kyzy-Kermen. On 8 July or 27 June 1709 the battle of Poltava took place near the city during the Great Northern War between the Muscovite and Swedish armies; this battle had great historical importance for the Russians. In 1710 there was a plague in its surrounding area. In the mid-18th century the Kolomak Woods near Poltava became a base of haidamaks. By 1770 Poltava had several brick factories, a regimental doctor, a pharmacy. In 1775 it became a city of Novorossiysk Governorate, guarded by the 8th Company of the Dnieper Pike Regiment headquartered in Kobeliaky. In 1775 Poltava's Mona
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist and biologist. As a student Lysenko found himself interested in agriculture, where he worked on a few different projects, one involving the effects of temperature variation on the life-cycle of plants; this led him to consider how he might use this work to convert winter wheat into spring wheat. He named the process "jarovization" in Russian, translated it as "vernalization". Lysenko was a strong proponent of soft inheritance and rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of pseudoscientific ideas termed Lysenkoism, his experimental research in improved crop yields earned him the support of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin following the famine and loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivization in several regions of the Soviet Union in the early 1930s. In 1940, Lysenko became director of the Institute of Genetics within the USSR's Academy of Sciences, the exercise of political influence and power further secured his anti-Mendelian doctrines in Soviet science and education.
Soviet scientists who refused to renounce genetics were dismissed from their posts and left destitute. Hundreds if not thousands of others were imprisoned. Several were sentenced to death including the botanist Nikolai Vavilov. Scientific dissent from Lysenko's theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in the Soviet Union in 1948. Though Lysenko remained at his post in the Institute of Genetics until 1965, his influence on Soviet agricultural practice had declined after the death of Stalin in 1953; the son of Denis and Oksana Lysenko, Trofim Lysenko was born into a peasant family in Karlivka, Poltava Governorate on 29 September 1898. As a young man working at the Kiev Agricultural Institute, Lysenko worked on converting winter wheat into spring wheat; the conversion of winter wheat into spring wheat was not a new discovery. Scientific experiments had been done by Nikolai Vavilov, it was Vavilov who supported Lysenko and encouraged him on his work. Lysenko had a difficult time trying to grow various crops, through the harsh winters.
However, when he announced success, he was praised in the Soviet newspaper Pravda for his claims to have discovered a method to fertilize fields without using fertilizers or minerals, to have shown that a winter crop of peas could be grown in Azerbaijan, "turning the barren fields of the Transcaucasus green in winter, so that cattle will not perish from poor feeding, the peasant Turk will live through the winter without trembling for tomorrow." Lysenko argued that there is not only competition, but mutual assistance among individuals within a species, that mutual assistance exists between different species. According to Lysenko, The organism and the conditions required for its life are an inseparable unity. Different living bodies require different environmental conditions for their development. By studying these requirements we come to know the qualitative features of the nature of organisms, the qualitative features of heredity. Heredity is the property of a living body to require definite conditions for its life and development and to respond in a definite way to various conditions.
Lysenko worked with different wheat crops to try to convert them to grow in different seasons. Another area Lysenko found himself interested in was the effect of heat on plant growth, he believed. He attempted to correlate the time and the amount of heat required by a particular plant to go through various phases of development. To get his data he looked at the amount of growth, how many days went by, the temperature on those days. In trying to determine the effects, he made a small statistical reasoning error; this is a general trend that can be seen throughout the majority of his works and his major "findings". He was confronted by Maksimov, an expert on thermal plant development. Lysenko did not take well to any criticism. After this encounter, Lysenko boldly claimed. In 1927, at the age of 29, working at an agricultural experiment station in Azerbaijan, Lysenko embarked on the research that would lead to his 1928 paper on vernalization, which drew wide attention because of its potential practical implications for Soviet agriculture.
Severe cold and lack of winter snow had destroyed many early winter-wheat seedlings. By treating wheat seeds with moisture as well as cold, Lysenko induced them to bear a crop when planted in spring. Lysenko coined the term "Jarovization" to describe this chilling process, which he used to make the seeds of winter cereals behave like spring cereals. However, this method had been known by farmers since the 1800s, had been discussed in detail by Gustav Gassner in 1918. Lysenko himself translated Jarovization as "vernalization". Lysenko's claims for increased yields were based on plantings over a few hectares, he believed that the vernalized transformation could be inherited, that the offspring of a vernalized plant would themselves possess the capabilities of the generation that preceded it—that it too would be able to withstand harsh winters or imperfect weather conditions. Lysenko rejected Mendelian genetic inheritance theory in favor of his own logic, he believed Mendel's theory to be too react
Walter John Kilner
Walter John Kilner, M. D. B. A. M. B. M. R. C. P. Etc. was a medical electrician at London. There, from 1879 to 1893, he was in charge of electrotherapy, he was in private medical practice, in Ladbroke Grove, London. He wrote papers on a range of subjects but is today best remembered for his late study The Human Atmosphere. In 1883 he became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians. In his spare time he was a keen chess player. In 1911 Kilner published one of the first western medical studies of the "Human Atmosphere" or Aura, proposing its existence and possible use in medical diagnosis and prognosis. In its conviction that the human energy field is an indicator of health and mood, Kilner's study resembles the work of Harold Saxton Burr. However, while Burr relied upon voltmeter readings, working before the advent of semiconductor technology, attempted to invent devices by which the naked eye might be trained to observe "auric" activity which, he hypothesised, was ultraviolet radiation, stating that the phenomena he saw were not affected by electromagnets.
Glass slides or "Kilner Screens" containing alcoholic solutions of variously coloured dyes, including a blue coal-tar dye called "dicyanin" were used as filters in "Kilner Goggles" which, together with lights, were held to train the eyes to perceive electromagnetic radiation outside the normal spectrum of visible light. After being so trained, one could dispense with the apparatus. Kilner did not recommend viewing the subject through these lenses. According to his study and his associates were able, on many occasions, to perceive auric formations, which he called the Etheric Double, the Inner Aura and the Outer Aura, extending several inches from patients' naked bodies, his book gave instructions by which the reader might construct and use similar goggles. Francis J. Rebman, a friend of Kilner supported his research in America. A drawback to Kilner's method was the toxicity of the chemicals he recommended; the biologist Oscar Bagnall recommended substituting the dye pinacyanol but this dye is not easy to obtain.
Carl Edwin Lindgren has stated that cobalt blue and purple glass may be substituted for the dyes used by Kilner and Bagnall. In 1920 a revised edition of his book was published under the title The Human Aura. Kilner's work was well-timed for the heyday of Theosophy and his findings were incorporated into Arthur E. Powell's book The Etheric Double. Powell rightly made clear that Kilner had expressly differentiated between his own work and the clairvoyance and eastern systems of spiritualism. In the British Medical Journal a review for Kilner's research stated that although Kilner contended the aura is a "purely physical phenomenon", evidence does not support this view. Scientists from the BMJ attempted to replicate Kilner's experiments but the results were negative; the review concluded that "Dr. Kilner has failed to convince us that his "aura" is more real than Macbeth's visionary dagger."American scholar J. Gordon Melton has written: Kilner's research was dismissed by researchers on light and perception, the results he reported were seen as artifacts of the observer's own optic process rather than reflective of any emanation being produced by the subject being observed.
These findings did not prevent the marketing of Kilner goggles, advertisements for which appeared in Esoteric periodicals as late as the 1970s. Skeptical investigator Joe Nickell has described Kilner's research as pseudoscience, noting that he "uncritically accepted the validity of non-existent N-rays and clairvoyant powers." The Human Atmosphere Aura L-field of Harold Saxton Burr Kirlian Photography Morphogenetic field of biologist Rupert Sheldrake Orgone energy of Wilhelm Reich Prana in Ayurveda and Yoga Qi or ch'i or ki in several Asian cultures Chinese Vitalism
Paul Alfred Weiss
Paul Alfred Weiss was an Austrian biologist who specialised in morphogenesis, development and neurobiology. A teacher and theorist, he made a lasting contribution to science in his lengthy career, throughout which he sought to encourage specialists in different fields to meet and share insights. Paul Weiss was born in Vienna, the son of Carl S. Weiss, a businessman, Rosalie Kohn Weiss, his background favoured music and philosophy – Weiss himself was a violinist – but an uncle encouraged an interest in science. Weiss received his baccalaureate in 1916. After the end of the First World War, having served for three years as an officer in the artillery, he commenced studies in mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, he shifted his focus to biology with a minor in physics. He absorbed the studies of Edmond B. Wilson, Edwin G. Concklin, Theodor Bovari and completed his doctoral thesis in 1922 under Hans Prizbram director of the Biological Research Institute of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, on the responses of butterflies to light and gravity.
After completing his thesis he traveled in Europe, becoming an assistant director of the Biological Research Institute of the Vienna Academy of Sciences. In 1926 he married Maria Helen Blaschka, his studies of limb regeneration in newts showed that a complete limb could regenerate if particular tissue forms were removed from the stump: the required types of tissue would reform. He studied cell differentiation and the transplanting and reforming of connections in the nerves of limbs, using newts and frogs for his experiments, he morphogenesis. He introduced the idea of the "natural experiment" – the quest for suggestive examples from nature – and this became a favourite teaching device. In 1930 a prospective post at the University of Frankfurt was lost due to the depression and Weiss moved to the United States. In 1931, after studying developing cell cultures for some time, Weiss won a Sterling fellowship to work with Ross Granville Harrison at Yale, he took US citizenship in 1939. From 1933 to 1954, after working at Yale, he taught at the University of Chicago.
In his work on tissue cultures Weiss outlined several features of cell proliferation: he showed how cell-patterns are affected by their substrate and, through grafts, proved that basic neural patterns of coordination were self-differentiating rather than learned, though higher vertebrates can "retrain" reflexes. During World War II he worked with the American government on nerve injury. In 1947 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1954 he became one of the first professors at the new Rockefeller University in New York, where he remained for fifteen years. Paul Weiss was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, he died at White Plains, New York, on September 8, 1989, at the age of 91. Organicism Morphogenetic fields 1973: The Science of Life; the Living System – A System for Living, ISBN 0-87993-034-9 Overton, Jane, "Paul Alfred Weiss", Biographical Memoirs, 72, National Academy of Science, pp. 372–386
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur
Moscow State University
Moscow State University is a coeducational and public research university located in Moscow, Russia. It was founded on 23 January 1755 by Mikhail Lomonosov. MSU was renamed after Lomonosov in 1940 and was known as Lomonosov University, it houses the tallest educational building in the world. Its current rector is Viktor Sadovnichiy. According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, it is the highest-ranking Russian educational institution and is considered the most prestigious university in the former Soviet Union. Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov promoted the idea of a university in Moscow, Russian Empress Elizabeth decreed its establishment on 23 January 1755; the first lectures were given on 7 May. Russians still celebrate 25 January as Students' Day. Saint Petersburg State University and Moscow State University engage in friendly rivalry over the title of Russia's oldest university. Though Moscow State University was founded in 1755, its competitor in St. Petersburg has had a continuous existence as a "university" since 1819 and sees itself as the successor of an academy established on 24 January 1724, by a decree of Peter the Great.
The present Moscow State University occupied the Principal Medicine Store on Red Square from 1755 to 1787. Catherine the Great transferred the University to a Neoclassical building on the other side of Mokhovaya Street. In the 18th century, the University had three departments: philosophy and law. A preparatory college was affiliated with the University until its abolition in 1812. In 1779, Mikhail Kheraskov founded a boarding school for noblemen which in 1830 became a gymnasium for the Russian nobility; the university press, run by Nikolay Novikov in the 1780s, published the most popular newspaper in Imperial Russia: Moskovskie Vedomosti. In 1804, medical education split into clinical and obstetrics faculties. During 1884–1897, the Department of Medicine—supported by private donations, the municipal and imperial governments—built an extensive, 1.6-kilometer-long, state-of-the-art medical campus in Devichye Pole, between the Garden Ring and Novodevichy Convent. The campus, medical education in general, were separated from the Moscow University in 1930.
Devichye Pole was operated by the independent I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and by various other state and private institutions; the roots of student unrest in the University reach deep into the nineteenth century. In 1905, a social-democratic organization emerged at the University and called for the overthrow of the Czarist government and the establishment of a republic in Russia; the imperial government threatened to close the University. In 1911, in a protest over the introduction of troops onto the campus and mistreatment of certain professors, 130 scientists and professors resigned en masse, including such prominent men as Nikolay Dimitrievich Zelinskiy, Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev, Sergei Alekseevich Chaplygin. After the October Revolution of 1917, the institution began to admit the children of the proletariat and peasantry. In 1919, the University abolished fees for tuition and established a preparatory facility to help working-class children prepare for entrance examinations.
During the implementation of Joseph Stalin's first five-year plan, prisoners from the Gulag were forced to construct parts of the newly expanded University. After 1991, nine new faculties were established; the following year, the University gained a unique status: it is funded directly from the state budget, thus providing the University a significant level of independence. On 6 September 1997, the French electronic musician Jean Michel Jarre, whom the mayor of Moscow had specially invited to perform, used the entire front facade of the University as the backdrop for a concert: the frontage served as a giant projection screen, with fireworks and searchlights all launched from various points around the building; the stage stood directly in front of the building, the concert, entitled "The Road To The 21st Century" in Russia but renamed "Oxygen In Moscow" for worldwide release in video/DVD, attracted a world-record crowd of 3.5 million people. On 19 March 2008, Russia's most powerful supercomputer to date, the SKIF MSU was launched at the University.
Its peak performance of 60 TFLOPS makes it the fastest supercomputer in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Since 1953, most of the faculties have been situated on Sparrow Hills, in the southwest of Moscow, 5 km from the city centre; the main building was designed by architect Lev Vladimirovich Rudnev. In the post-war era, Joseph Stalin ordered seven huge tiered neoclassic towers to be built around the city, it was built using Gulag labour. Located on Moscow's outskirts at the time of its construction, the location of the main building is now about half-way between the center of Moscow a
Alfred Rupert Sheldrake is an English author, researcher in the field of parapsychology, who proposed the concept of morphic resonance, a conjecture which lacks mainstream acceptance and has been characterised as pseudoscience. He worked as a biochemist at Cambridge University from 1967 to 1973 and as principal plant physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India until 1978. Sheldrake's morphic resonance posits that "memory is inherent in nature" and that "natural systems... inherit a collective memory from all previous things of their kind." Sheldrake proposes that it is responsible for "telepathy-type interconnections between organisms." His advocacy of the idea offers idiosyncratic explanations of standard subjects in biology such as development and memory. Morphic resonance is not accepted by the scientific community and Sheldrake's proposals relating to it have been criticised. Critics cite a lack of evidence for morphic resonance and inconsistencies between its tenets and data from genetics, embryology and biochemistry.
They express concern that popular attention paid to Sheldrake's books and public appearances undermines the public's understanding of science. Other work by Sheldrake encompasses paranormal subjects such as precognition, empirical research into telepathy and the psychic staring effect. Sheldrake's ideas, while lacking scientific acceptance, have found support in the New Age movement from individuals such as Deepak Chopra. Sheldrake was born in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, to Doris and Reginald Alfred Sheldrake on 28 June 1942, his father graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in pharmacy and was an amateur naturalist and microscopist. Sheldrake credits his father with encouraging him to follow his interest in animals and gardens. Although they were Methodists, Sheldrake's parents sent him to Worksop College, a Church of England boarding school. Sheldrake says,I went through the standard scientific atheist phase when I was about 14... I bought into. I was the only boy at my high Anglican boarding school.
When I was a teenager, I was a bit like Dawkins is today, you know:'If Adam and Eve were created by God, why do they have navels?' That kind of thing. At Clare College, Sheldrake studied biology and biochemistry, after a year at Harvard studying philosophy and history of science, he returned to Cambridge where he gained a PhD in biochemistry for his work in plant development and plant hormones. After obtaining his PhD, Sheldrake became a fellow of Clare College, working in biochemistry and cell biology with funding from the Royal Society Rosenheim Research Fellowship, he investigated auxins, a class of phytohormones that plays a role in plant vascular cell differentiation. Sheldrake and Philip Rubery developed the chemiosmotic model of polar auxin transport. Sheldrake says that he ended this line of research when he concluded, The system is circular, it does not explain. After nine years of intensive study, it became clear to me that biochemistry would not solve the problem of why things have the basic shape they do.
Having an interest in Indian philosophy and transcendental meditation, Sheldrake resigned his position at Clare and went to work on the physiology of tropical crops in Hyderabad, India, as principal plant physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics from 1974 to 1978. There co-authored a book on the anatomy of the pigeonpea. Sheldrake left ICRISAT to focus on writing A New Science of Life, during which time he spent a year and a half in the Saccidananda Ashram of Bede Griffiths, a Benedictine monk. Published in 1981, the book outlines his concept of morphic resonance, about which he remarks, The idea came to me in a moment of insight and was exciting, it interested some of my colleagues at Clare College – philosophers and classicists were quite open-minded. But the idea of mysterious telepathy-type interconnections between organisms and of collective memories within species didn't go down too well with my colleagues in the science labs. Not that they were aggressively hostile.
After writing A New Science of Life, he continued at ICRISAT as a part-time consultant physiologist until 1985. Since 2004, Sheldrake has been a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute in Bethany, where he was academic director of the Holistic Learning and Thinking Program until 2012. From September 2005 until 2010, Sheldrake was director of the Perrott–Warrick Project for psychical research for research on unexplained human and animal abilities, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge; as of 2014, he was a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California and a fellow of Schumacher College in Devon, England. Sheldrake reported "being drawn back to a Christian path" during his time in India, self-identifies as Anglican. Sheldrake is married to voice teacher and author Jill Purce, they have the biologist Merlin Sheldrake and the musician Cosmo Sheldrake. Reviews of Sheldrake's books have at times been negative over their scientific content, but some have been positive. In 2009, Adam Rutherford and deputy editor of Nature, criticised Sheldrake's books for containing research, not subjected to the peer-review process expected for science, suggested that his books were best "ignored."
Sheldrake's A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance proposed that through morphic resonance, various perceived phenomena biolog