From International Socialist Review, Vol.18 No.3, Summer 1957, p.74.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.
In its Science column, under the heading A Plan to Make “Sure” of a Human Race, the June 17 Newsweek ran the following item:
In the old pre-atomic days, a few extreme eugenists used to suggest mass artificial insemination using the sperm of geniuses in order to raise the IQ of the human race. Last week, an atomic physicist proposed a series of “sperm banks” – “lead-covered Fort Knoxes ... dispersed throughout the nation.” His purpose was simply, as he explained it, to preserve the human race in some recognizable form in the event of nuclear war.
At Congressional hearings in Washington on atomic radiation, Dr. Ralph E. Lapp, physicist and author ... urged “a stockpile of human sperm,” presumably refrigerated in the manner commonly practiced with prize bulls. In the radioactive shambles following an all-out hydrogen-bomb war, female survivors would thus have a source of prewar unirradiated sperm to replace that of her irradiated husband.
“This would mean many children will have the same father, and even grandfather,” Lapp pointed out. “But it would cut the genetic consequences of all-out war more than in half, since the female is less sensitive to radiation than the male in terms of the sperm versus the ovum.”
Lapp quickly admitted that his suggestion might seem bizarre, but, he said, these “are the kind of things you come up against when you consider the awesome consequences of nuclear warfare.”
Last updated on: 22 April 2009