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Cambridge Reproduction


History of reproductive and developmental biology since 1945

Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Sciences (retired)


Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333777, Fax: +44 (0) 1223 333786


Research Interests

I am mainly researching the history of reproduction since the second world war. My interests have focused on the history of IVF, and have resulted in the publication of several papers. Currently I am working on three manuscripts: the history of early IVF in Victoria, Australia; the history of attitudes to homosexuality in the medical profession as assessed by the evidence submitted by the BMA to the Wolfendon committee; and a paper on the 14 day rule.

I am joint senior editor of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society Online (RBMS) and one of the four editors of Reproductive BioMedicine Online (RBMO: both Elsevier). I also co-edited the proceedings of the seventh seminar of the Cambridge Socio-legal Group called Birth Rites and Rights published by Hart Publishing. The 8th Edition of Essential Reproduction (Wiley Blackwell Science) was published in March 2018.


Professor Sarah Franklin, Sociology, Cambridge
Dr Nick Hopwood, History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge

Key Publications

Elder K, Johnson MH, (2015), The Oldham Notebooks: an analysis of the development of IVF 1969-1978Six papers in Reproductive BioMedicine and Society, 1, 3-70

Wong CC, Johnson MH, (2014), Therapy for mitochondrial genetic disease: are we at the thin end of the wedge? Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 29, 147-149

Arnaiz I, Johnson MH, Cook DI, Day ML, (2013), Changing expression of chloride channels during preimplantation mouse developmentReproduction, 145, 73-84

Johnson MH, (2013), Tri-parenthood – a simply misleading term or an ethically misguided approach? Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 26, 516-519

Johnson MH, Theodosiou AA, (2012), PGD and the making of the genetic embryo as a political tool, in Regulating PGD: A Comparative and Theoretical Analysis, (Ed. McLean, S.) Routledge, London, UK

Theodosiou AA, Johnson MH, (2011), The politics of human embryo research and the motivation to achieve PGDReproductive BioMedicine Online, 22, 457– 471