This is the highly acclaimed book by Robin Marantz Henig about the early days of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the ethical and legal battles waged in the 1970s, as well as the scientific advances that eventually changed the public perception of “test tube babies.“ Published in paperback for the first time, this timely and provocative book brilliantly presents the scientific and ethical dilemmas in the ongoing debate over what it means to be human in a technological age.
About the author: Robin Marantz Henig is the author of eight books. Her previous book The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Genius of Gregor Mendel, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She writes about science and medicine for the New York Times Magazine, where she is a contributing writer, as well as for publications such as Scientific American, Smithsonian, and The Washington Post.
Robin Henig garnered two prestigious awards in 2006: The Science in Society Award, the highest honor in science journalism, awarded by the National Association of Science Writers, and The Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize awarded by The History of Science Society for the best book in the history of science for general readers.
Pandora’s Baby is an engrossing, hardtoput down read telling how a once highly controversial potential advance becomes a widely appreciated tool for today’s life.
James D. Watson, Ph.D., Nobel laureate and author of The Double Helix and DNA: The Secret of Life
Pandora’s Baby is informative, thoughtprovoking, and gracefully written. With the voice of a good storyteller and the authority of a careful researcher, Henig brilliantly probes the moral, philosophical, and social issues surrounding that most intimate of all scientific endeavors: the creation of human life.
Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams
Fortunately, whether you have to explain the newest facts of life or simply want to understand them yourself, you can now turn to Robin Marantz Henig's beautifully written and timely book on the way in vitro (Latin for in glass) fertilization, or I.V.F., began with the tinkering of a few researchers during the 1960's, and how it became widely available. . . .Washington has refused to pay for the most controversial avenues of reproductive research. Yet in an age when forprofit companies and university scientists often become partners in the hope of striking it rich, it is no longer possible to close Pandora's box.
The New York Times
We don't know where reproductive technology ultimately will take society, Henig concludes, but it's likely that we will adapt to new discoveries the way we have so often adapted. Her levelheaded book provides a welcome context for the current debate over cloning.
Thanks largely to the publicity surrounding [the world's first test tube baby Louise] Brown, and the reassuring normality displayed by her and by the other testtube babies that followed, Henig worries that we have forgotten the dark, tortured, surreptitious and often just plain weird origins of in vitro technology. She exhumes these beginnings, and in the process reminds readers of just how tentative and suspect IVF was. She also stresses how very recent this lurch into the brave new babymaking world has been and how, like so many other technologies, IVF moved rapidly from horrified disbelief into routine acceptance. . . [A]lively history.
The Washington Post
...a fascinating book which should also appeal to nonmedical readers.
The Ulster Medical Journal