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A Eulogy to Robert Edwards

By David Kreiner, MD

April 13th, 2013 at 11:34 pm

 

image courtesy of: freedigitalphotos.net/credit: Photokanok

Robert Edwards, the British scientist responsible for developing the first successful In Vitro Fertilized baby in the world in 1978, died this week.  Since then over 5 million babies have been born as a result of the IVF technology he pioneered and eventually won him the Nobel Prize in 2010.  Today, 1-4 % of all babies born in Europe, North America and Australia are the result of this assisted reproductive technology started by Professor Robert Edwards.

 

For those of us affected by infertility or who dedicate our life’s work to IVF, we owe much to this brilliant man whose perseverance in the 1960′s and 1970′s in embryologic research made it possible for us to experience the miracles we now are fortunate to know as our children and the children of our patients, friends and relatives.

 

I had the good fortune to meet Professor Edwards in the 1990′s.  He astounded me with his intelligence, his humility and his humor.  I told him about our Long Island IVF softball team that we had at the time which made him laugh hysterically.  

 

It was ironic to him that IVF which had been his research project for decades as well as a world controversy had made it to the everyday mundane status of American softball.

 

We owe much to this great man and will forever hold his memories dear to our hearts.

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What would you have said to, or asked, Robert Edwards if your paths had ever crossed?

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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