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A history of events leading to the birth of Louise Brown

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Martin Johnson (Cambridge University) and Kay Elder (Bourn Hall Clinic)

Between 1969 and 1978, Robert Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and Jean Purdy worked in Oldham and Cambridge to try to translate their successful IVF into a live birth. This was eventually achieved in July 1978 and January 1979 with the birth of the world’s first two so-called ‘test tube babies’. Recent access to the archive of the late Robert Edwards has enabled a clear history of the approaches used in solving the many problems encountered to be determined. This lecture will describe the clinical, scientific and ethical problems that the three researchers encountered over this nine and a half year period, and how they went about resolving them.

This talk is part of the ReproSoc series.

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