Human Fertility and Population Problems: Proceedings of the Seminar Sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

By Roy O. Greep; American Ethnological Society et al. | Go to book overview

DISCUSSION

DR. GREEP opened the discussion by commenting that "as is usual in a discussion of this type we have treated two people in the audience as computers. We have been feeding this material into these two computers and have posed certain problems to them and we are interested in learning what will come back. For the first discussor of these presentations we will call on Dr. Parkes."

DR. PARKES: It is almost impossible to keep up the string of metaphor and simile with which we have been bombarded. A few minutes ago Dr. Tietz referred to himself as the caudal end of a program, and I was wondering in what anatomical terms he would refer to me. Perhaps he would agree that I am out on a limb! Coming back to the main metaphor of this discussion, I must say that I feel that I'm not merely up to the frontier, I'm over it.

This has been a most exciting Symposium. I have learned a great deal. Turning first of all to Dr. Nelson's contribution, I was extremely interested to hear about the recent developments in the study of the anti-spermatogenic compounds and to know that something which may be practically applicable is in sight. To judge from what is going on in England at the present time, it will be necessary to provide good evidence that there is no likelihood of genetic effects from this interruption of spermatogenesis. I very much hope that Dr. Nelson will be able to provide such evidence and kill at the very beginning what will undoubtedly be a criticism in England.

Turning now, if I may, to Dr. Rock. I admired his contribution, or should I say performance, very much indeed and I was particularly interested in his suggestion that we should turn our attention from suppressing ovulation to getting rid of it prematurely. I think there may be a great deal in this idea and I hope that it will be followed up.

Several things mentioned by Dr. Rock intrigued me greatly. For instance, the idea of an olfactory detection of ovulation in women

-237-

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