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Correspondence between Beatty and Robert G. Edwards chiefly concerning the publicity surrounding in vitro fertilisation, 1969

Identifier: Coll-1364/6/4

Scope and Contents

The material also contains handwritten notes and a draft annotated typescript titled 'Comments on the fertilization of human eggs in vitro' and a copy of The Times newspaper from 19 February 1969 containing a column on 'human life in the test-tube'.


  • Creation: 1969

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to researcher completing a Data Protection undertaking form.

Biographical / Historical

Robert G. Edwards studied in Beatty's research group in the ARC Unit of Animal Genetics and received his PhD in 1955. The correspondence here, however, covers the period when Edwards was based in Cambridge as a Ford Foundation Research Fellow at the Department of Physiology and, in collaboration with Patrick Steptoe, was conducting work on fertilising human eggs in a laboratory. This work on in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which in 1978 would lead to the birth of the first 'test-tube baby', gained Edwards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010, but at the time led to much hostility, opposition and legal controversy.


1 folder

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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