Podcast: The phrase ‘Who’s Your (Grand) Daddy’ has shocking relevance to Jack Nunn, as the Australian geneticist learns of his surprising link to Britain’s most notorious ‘sperminator’
22nd January 2020
Excerpt from blog article:
“When Jack Nunn started his PhD at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, eager to immerse himself in genomics research, he decided to focus on his own family’s DNA. As he tells geneticist Kat Arney, he soon uncovered a remarkable personal connection to one of the most controversial fertility clinic scandals of all time.
It turns out hundreds of people, perhaps more than a thousand, were artificially impregnated by British scientist Bertold Wiesner, the husband of fertility clinic pioneer Dr. Mary Barton, beginning in the mid 1940s. Barton found it too challenging to find suitable donors, so she turned for help to someone who was both reliable and discreet: Her husband Bertold. Nunn’s mother has now been identified as one of hundreds, maybe thousands, of children seeded by Wiesner….
To find out more about the ethical issues around the fast-changing field of consumer and medical genomics, Arney also speaks with Anna Middleton, Head of Society and Ethics Research at the Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge. There’s more about her work looking at the ethical, legal and social implications of genomics online at genomethics.org, and she also tweets at @genomethics”