Thursday, 11 April 2013

IVF Pioneer : Sir Robert Edwards dies

This will be the last post on Localventure until next week (Monday). I'm taking the advantage of the quiet of the second week of Easter (where the heck is everyone, no one is replying to e-mails or the phone this week!!!) and the final week of the kids break to take off Friday with the family.

Which brings me to the point of this post, the news that Robert Edwards died yesterday was particularly poignant for me as both of my children : Megan and Ryan were conceived following several (many) cycles of IVF treatment between 1998 and 2004.

Without the pioneering work of Edwards and his colleagues in the 1950's and '60's I wouldn't be able to take a day out to spend time with my kids.

Edwards, a gregarious, argumentative and open Yorkshireman lived a full life replete with humanity, passion, politics and of course enormous scientific rigour. I think it is true to say that without Bob Edwards (and his scientific partner - Patrick Steptoe who unfortunately died in 2010 just before the team received their richly deserved Nobel prize) thousands of people would not be alive and in the world contributing today. As with all pioneers, Edwards had his share of detractors, particularly from religious fundamentalists and even now the Catholic church (staggeringly) remains opposed to IVF.

Edwards said that : "the most important thing in life is having a child", truly a heartfelt thought from a genius who will be sorely missed. I have included a link below to an obituary in the Guardian that I would ask you to read and will discuss the personal impact of Edwards work to me in a future blog on Talk Health in the next few days.

Sir Robert Edwards - Obituary

Back next week, have a good weekend everyone and please check out the podcasts : PMICast for all things Private Medical Insurance on iTunes and at and also Where's Wilson - our fun SF and Fantasy 'cast also on iTunes and at

Plus check out my blog at Talk Health ( click on 'Blog' and find me under 'Our Bloggers'.

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