PLEDGE NOW
The Nobel Prize Sperm Bank
photo

In 1980 rich businessman Robert Graham founded the Repository for Germinal Choice in Escondido, California with the hope that he might help create the next generation of Nobel Prize winners. He promised the seed of such winners to his would-be clients.

One of Graham’s first sperm donors was William Shockley, the Nobel prize winner who created the transistor and, like Graham, was an enthusiastic eugenicist.

Although the sperm bank fell short of Graham’s dream, it did produce 200 children, and offered women something they didn’t have before: a menu of genes to choose from.

Hear a discussion with editor David Plotz about the strange and telling history of the “Nobel Prize sperm bank” and the future of genetically-engineered kids.

Guests:

David Plotz, deputy editor of the online magazine Slate.
His new book is “The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank.”

Jennifer Waddell, who is seven months pregnant with twins. She received both donor eggs and sperm.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jun 30, 2015
A woman uses an ATM of a closed bank in Athens, Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece's five-year financial crisis took its most dramatic turn yet, with the cabinet deciding that Greek banks would remain shut for six business days and restrictions would be imposed on cash withdrawals. (AP)

Greece closes its banks as debt negotiations reach a crisis point. We hear the latest on the debt crisis and its threat to the Eurozone.

Jun 30, 2015
In this image provided by NASA/JSC, astronauts Steven L. Smith and John M. Grunsfeld are photographed during an extravehicular activity (EVA) during the December 1999 Hubble servicing mission of STS-103, flown by Discovery. The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA'S crowning glories, marks its 25th anniversary on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Global plans for outer space. We’ll look around the world at who has what agendas for out there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 29, 2015
Bacteria under a microscope.

Can bacteria in your gut influence your brain? Your mood? Your emotions? Top scientists say yes.

 
Jun 29, 2015
People walk on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Saturday April 26, 2014. Two Supreme Court cases about police searches of cellphones without warrants present vastly different views of the ubiquitous device. Is it a critical tool for a criminal or is it an American’s virtual home? How the justices answer that question could determine the outcome of the cases being argued Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (AP)

Same-sex marriage. Obamacare. Lethal injection. Voting rights. Redistricting. A big look at the Supreme Court term.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment
 
Quick Note On Rebroadcasting Today
Thursday, Jun 18, 2015

A quick note regarding today’s shifting schedule of broadcasts.

More »
2 Comments
 
How To Follow Team USA At The Women’s World Cup
Monday, Jun 15, 2015

Good news! You can watch the 2015 Women’s World Cup on basic broadcast TV. Bad news: we can’t quite predict if the American team is going to make it all the way to the July 5 championship game.

More »
2 Comments