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  • Foundations and Principles of Human Reproduction
  • Etienne-Emile Baulieu
Etienne-Emile Baulieu
Lab Hormones, F-94276, Bicetre Cedex, France


This address was given at the opening lecture by the new chair "Foundations and Principles of Human Reproduction." The adapted translation is by Roger Guillemin.

1. The Collège de France was founded by Francis I of France in 1529, to provide for its professors to study and teach according to their own precepts and in reaction against the scholastic teaching of the Sorbonne. To this day, the Collège de France is the most prestigious teaching (all courses and lectures are free and open to the public) and research (all fields of knowledge from Mandarin Chinese, to quantum physics, to molecular biology) institution of France.—Editor's note.

2. The occupation of France by the German army from May 1940 to May 1945, after the fall of France in the second World War.—Editor's note.

3. Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, the equivalent in France of the NIH in the United States.—Editor's note.

4. This is also true in nonhuman primates (per studies with Professor Gary Hogden, Jones Foundation, Norfolk, Virginia).

5. Prostaglandins, discovered and utilized thanks to Sune Bergström, Bengt Samuelson, and Marc Bygdeman, are "local hormones" that increase the contractions of the uterine fibers and open the cervix.

6. Medical supervision is not inherently necessary for the use of the molecule RU486, which is innocuous by itself. Pregnancy, however, is a risk for women whether they wish to continue it or not. And neither RU486 nor uterine aspiration address extra-uterine pregnancies, which carry a severe prognosis and are occurring with growing frequency.

7. These numbers include consideration of the increase in life expectancy that will continue in the decades to come, according to Henri Léridon (personal communication).



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