In this compelling new novel Carl Djerassi moves beyond the familiar worlds of laboratory and home to investigate the "tribal culture" of the international science community. The novel's backdrop is a series of conferences, based on the Nobel Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, where jet-setting scientists gather to discuss the global implications of their discoveries. In this setting a man and a woman meet and become lovers. Menachem Dvir, a fiftyish Israeli nuclear engineer, is a married man rendered sterile by his exposure to radiation; Melanie Laidlaw, the American director of a foundation supporting research in reproductive biology, is the childless widow of a prominent scientist. Now in her late thirties, Laidlaw concocts a scheme to steal her lover's sperm in order to determine whether it is suitable for ICSI - a revolutionary development of the early 1990s involving injection of a single sperm into an egg for the treatment of male infertility and fully documented in this novel. What happens next is pure Djerassi - an unpredictable and thrilling page-turner.
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Carl Djerassi is an internationally renowned scientist whose books include the novel Marx, Deceased; his autobiography The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas' Horse; essay, poetry, and short-story collections and two plays. A professor of chemistry at Stanford University, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is one of the few American scientists to have been awarded both the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology.
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