Conway Zirkle

Conway Zirkle (October 28, 1895 – March 28, 1972) was an American botanist and historian of science.

Conway Zirkle
Born(1895-10-28)October 28, 1895
DiedMarch 28, 1972(1972-03-28) (aged 76)
OccupationBotanist, historian of science

Zirkle was professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania.[1] He was highly critical of Lamarckism, Lysenkoism and Marxian biology.[2]

Selected publications


  • The Beginnings of Plant Hybridization (1935)
  • Death of a Science in Russia, the Fate of Genetics as Described in "Pravda" and Elsewhere (1949)
  • Evolution, Marxian Biology, and the Social Scene (1959)
  • The Evolution of Biology (1964)


  • Zirkle, Conway. (1935). The Inheritance of Acquired Characters and the Provisional Hypothesis of Pangenesis. American Naturalist 69: 417-445.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1936). Further Notes on Pangenesis and the Inheritance of Acquired Characters. American Naturalist 70: 529-546.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1941). Natural Selection Before the 'Origin of Species'. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association 84: 71-123.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1946). The Early History of the Idea of the Inheritance of Acquired Characters and Pangenesis. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 335: 91-151.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1947). The Theory of Concentric Spheres: Edmund Halley, Cotton Mather, & John Cleves Symmes. Isis. University of Chicago Press (on behalf of The History of Science Society) 37: 155-159.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1952). Early Ideas on Inbreeding and Crossbreeding. In Heterosis, edited by John W. Gowen, 1-13. Iowa State College Press.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1958). The First Recognized Plant Hybrid. Journal of Heredity 49: 137-138.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1959). Species Before Darwin. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103: 636-644.
  • Zirkle, Conway. (1964). Some Oddities in the Delayed Discovery of Mendelism. Journal of Heredity 55 (2): 65-72.


  1. Romijn, Peter; Scott-Smith, Giles; Segal, Joes. (2012). Divided Dreamworlds?: The Cultural Cold War in East and West. Amsterdam University Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-90-8964-436-7
  2. Joravsky, David. (1960). Evolution, Marxian Biology and the Social Scene by Conway Zirkle. Isis. Vol. 51, No. 3. pp. 348-353.