Wanda and I recently talked about John Rock with Malcolm Gladwell on his podcast, Revisionist History.

Rock’s life and work is the subject of our second book, The Fertility Doctor: John Rock and the Reproductive Revolution.

Rock was one of the most prominent infertility specialists of the mid-20th century. In 1944, he and his research assistant Miriam Menkin were the first researchers ever to report the in vitro fertilization of a human egg. A decade later, in the 1950s, Rock collaborated with Gregory Pincus on the development of the oral contraceptive.

A practicing Catholic, Rock spent much of the 1960s trying to convince the Catholic Church — ultimately unsuccessfully — to end its ban on birth control by approving the use of oral contraceptives.

Listen to the podcast here: