These lectures address diverse topics within bioethics and the medical humanities. Speakers are MH&B faculty or special guests we've invited to present. The lectures run every Thursday from noon to 12:45pm in the Searle Seminar Room in the Lurie building, during The Graduate School's fall, winter, and spring quarters. Due to public interest, we've made these lectures open to all, inside and outside the Northwestern community. Please feel free to bring a lunch.
Watching the Watch-Glass: Miriam Menkin, the First Human IVF, and One Woman’s Work in Reproductive Science, 1938-1952
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In August 1944, Harvard gynecologist John Rock and his laboratory assistant Miriam Menkin published in Science an article detailing their work on the first human in vitro fertilization. But while Rock became a household name as both the father of IVF and later as a father of the birth control pill, Menkin did not become known as the mother of IVF. She remains largely unknown outside of those who practice reproductive science or who study the history of reproductive science. Even when Menkin is mentioned, it is always within Rock’s story. In this talk, I will position Menkin within her own narrative, and by doing so suggest we should reconsider her role in early IVF research.