The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank

The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank

David Plotz

It used to be the main radical human-breeding test in American historical past, and nobody knew the way it became out. The Repository for Germinal Choice–nicknamed the Nobel Prize sperm bank–opened to infamous fanfare in 1980, and for 2 many years, ladies flocked to it from all around the nation to settle on a sperm donor from its roster of Nobel-laureate scientists, mathematical prodigies, profitable businessmen, and famous person athletes. however the financial institution quietly closed its doorways in 1999–its founder lifeless, its private documents sealed, and the destiny of its teenagers and donors unknown. In early 2001, award-winning columnist David Plotz got down to resolve the secret of the Nobel Prize sperm bank.

Plotz wrote a piece of writing for Slate inviting readers to touch him–confidentially–if they knew something in regards to the financial institution. the following morning, he bought an e mail reaction, then one other, and another–each individual eager to discuss whatever that they had saved hidden for years. Now, in The Genius Factory, Plotz unfolds the entire and remarkable tale of the Nobel Prize sperm financial institution and its founder’s radical scheme to alter our world.

Believing the USA used to be dealing with genetic disaster, Robert Graham, an eccentric millionaire, made up our minds he may opposite the decline via artificially inseminating ladies with the sperm of geniuses. In February 1980, Graham opened the Repository for Germinal selection and stocked it with the seed of proficient scientists, inventors, and thinkers. Over the following nineteen years, Graham’s “genius manufacturing facility” produced greater than 2 hundred children.

What occurred to them? have been they the bright offspring that Graham anticipated? Did any of the “superman” fathers care in regards to the unknown little children who bore their genes? What have been the moms like?

Crisscrossing the rustic and logging numerous hours on-line, Plotz succeeded in monitoring down formerly unknown family members members–teenage half-brothers who ended up following significantly varied paths, moms who had questioned for years in regards to the identities of the donors that they had chosen at the foundation of code names and short personality profiles, fathers who have been proud or ashamed or just interested in the kids who were produced from their sperm samples.

The teenagers of the “genius manufacturing facility” are messengers from the future–a destiny that's bearing down on us quick. what's going to households be like while mom and dad in many instances “shop” for his or her children’ genes? what's going to young ones be like whilst they’re programmed for greatness? during this beautiful, eye-opening ebook, one among our most interesting younger reporters previews America’s coming age of genetic expectations.

From the Hardcover edition.

Show sample text content

Download sample