The birth of IVF
Partly due to the early influence of Crew, the scientific study of sexual reproduction remained a strength in Edinburgh. Alan Beatty (1915-2005) was head of the Reproductive Physiology group within the Institute of Animal Genetics. He helped establish a Centre for Reproductive Biology at the University, which is still in existence today. In this letter, Beatty comments on a paper by Robert G. Edwards (1925-2013) which indicated the potential for children to be conceived outside of the womb. Edwards, who completed his PhD in Edinburgh under Beatty, later received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the birth of the first 'test-tube baby' by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 1978.