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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


embryo-chamberA workshop held in the Bryan Matthews Room, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, on 8 April 2011

Cambridge was perhaps the major European centre of innovation in research on reproduction in the twentieth century. The concentration in one city of University and other institutions with different missions and disciplinary affiliations appears to have been especially productive. Focusing on Cambridge also provides an opportunity to explore the engagements of the sciences with reproduction across an unusually broad range, from animal breeding and eugenics through embryology and genetics to psychoanalysis, without prejudging the changing identity of what might be considered 'reproductive sciences'.

This informal workshop aims to explore what historical research is already underway and to identify important questions and gaps. Each speaker will give a 15-minute presentation with 15 minutes for discussion.

Organizers: Martin Johnson, Nick Hopwood, John Forrester
Funding: Wellcome Trust strategic award in the history of medicine on Generation to Reproduction


9:00 Registration and coffee
9:30 Welcome and introductions
First session (chaired by Simon Szreter, History)
9:45 Jim Moore (The Open University)
The eugenic Darwins
10:15 Elizabeth Hurren (Oxford Brookes University)
Stillbirths and miscarriages: Dissection of anatomical abnormalities and deformities in the early 20th century
10:45 John Forrester (HPS)
Psychology, psychoanalysis and sex in the 1920s
11:15 Coffee
Second session (chaired by John Forrester, HPS)
11:45 Sarah Franklin (LSE)
Anthropology and reproduction studies
12:15 Elisabeth Ritter (PDN)
The artificial placenta project of Lawrence Lawn and Robert Alexander McCance
12:45 General discussion
1:00 Lunch
Third session (chaired by Martin Johnson, PDN)
2:00 David Whittingham (ETH Zürich)
The Society for the Study of Fertility and the Society for Reproduction and Fertility
2:30 Miri Kaltz (PDN: Part II student)
Tim Rowson and embryo transfer
2:45 Lydia Kerridge (PDN: Part II student)
Christopher Polge and sperm freezing
3:00 Tea
Fourth session (chaired by Nick Hopwood, HPS)
3:30 Martin Richards (CFR)
Alan Parkes and the Marshall Lab in the early 1960s
4:00 Martin Johnson (PDN)
Bob Edwards: The path to IVF
4:30 Dmitriy Myelnikov (HPS)
Embryonic stem cells: The work of Martin Evans and Matthew Kaufman
5:00 General discussion
5.30 Close

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