Tuesday 20 March 2018

'Father of the Pill' Djerassi dies

Carl Djerassi is widely hailed as the father of the birth control pill
Carl Djerassi is widely hailed as the father of the birth control pill

Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.

Professor Djerrasi, 91, died of complications from cancer in his San Francisco, California, home, Stanford University spokesman Dan Stober said.

He was most famous for leading a research team in Mexico City that developed norethindrone, a synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill in 1951 .

The Pill, as it came to be known, radically transformed sexual practices and women's lives.

In his book, This Man's Pill, Prof Djerassi said the invention also changed his life, making him more interested in how science affected society.

In 1969 he submitted a public policy article about the global implications of US contraceptive research and in 1970, he published another article about the feasibility of a birth control pill for men.

"The thoughts behind these two public policy articles had convinced me that politics, rather than science, would play the dominant role in shaping the future of human birth control," he wrote.

He is survived by son Dale Djerassi, stepdaughter Leah Middlebrook and grandson Alexander Djerassi.

Press Association

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