September 2019 marks the 90th anniversary of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. There have been many advances in women’s health care during this time including the development, introduction and subsequent success of in-vitro fertilisation.
On 25 July 1978 the world’s first ‘test-tube baby’, Louise Brown, was born. The first living human to have been conceived in vitro, Louise was the joyful result of a long, sometimes arduous and at times controversial period of research beginning in the autumn of 1969 and ending in summer 1978. It was conducted in Oldham, Lancashire and was led by Dr Robert Edwards of the University Physiology Laboratory, Cambridge, his assistant Miss Jean Purdy, and Mr Patrick Steptoe, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Oldham and District General Hospital.
A lecture detailing the research was delivered to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in January 1979. 40 years later, on September 25 2019, we are holding a special celebration at the College for reminiscence and reflection of that landmark event.
4:00pm Welcome and introduction
Lesley Regan, President, RCOG
4:10pm From Union Street West, Oldham to Regent's Park London, 1951-1979 – a tour through time
Fiona Kisby Littleton, Honorary Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education
5:00pm The media perspective
Janice Barker, Journalist, Oldham Chronicle 1969
5:10pm First hand perspectives of working with Steptoe and Edwards
The 60s: Victor Lewis
The 70s: Harvey Wagman
The 80s: Peter Brinsden
5:40pm Historic importance of the 1979 lecture from a present-day perspective
Drinks and networking