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Matthew Cobb: Why did it take 200 years to find out where babies came from? How we discovered the secret of sex.

    Saturday 9th March 2024 • Hebden Bridge Town Hall • 7:30pm • £10 • BOOK NOW

    It is obvious where babies come from, but working out how they got there in the first place was remarkably difficult. The decisive breakthroughs appear to have been made in the 17th century with the discovery of eggs and sperm, but remarkably it would be nearly 200 years before scientists eventually worked out what was going on. This lecture will span millennia of human knowledge, both folk and scientific, revealing how our understanding progresses and how, like the Earth going round the Sun, it all seems obvious when you know but it most definitely was not obvious for people in the past.

    Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester, where he investigates the sense of smell in insects and extinct humans, and also studies the history of science. He is the author of seven popular books, including Life’s Greatest Secret: The Race to Crack the Genetic Code (2015) and The Egg and Sperm Race: The Seventeenth Century Scientists who Uncovered the Secrets of Sex, Life and Growth (2006), which form the background to this talk.