NNN is currently researching the concept of the artificial womb and its societal impact and challenges. We started with a historic investigation of the relation between technology and biological reproduction and listed the key moments in the conception of such technology throughout time, as well as related assisted reproductive technologies. Learn more about this project and read the introductory article Ectogenesis, Artificial Womb, Human Egg.

This timeline will function as an incubator for medical, cultural and technological developments in relation to the artificial womb. A selection of the moments described below will be published on nextnature.net over the timespan of 16 weeks (after which, in terms of a biological pregnancy, the uterus is about the same size as a papaya).

320 BCE — World's first Caesarian

400 BCE — Myth of Princes Grown in Jars

1537 — Homunculus: the Semi-Human

1857 — the First Baby Incubators

1860 — Baby Incubator Built by Zoo Director in Paris

1896 — Baby Incubators in Coney Island

1916 —  Artificial Womb Appeared in Cinema

1923 — Term 'Ectogenesis' coined

1932 — "Brave New World" Published

1955 — Artificial Womb Drawing Patented

1967 — Abortion Regulated as Legal in the UK

1978 — World's First 'Test Tube Baby' Born

1996 — World's First Artificial Womb in Experiment

1999 — Ectogenesis Enters The Matrix

2014 — First Womb Transplant Baby Born

2015 — Artificial Placenta Approaches

2016 — Human Embryo Lives 13 Days in Lab

2016 — Japanese Students Hatch a Chick Outside the Shell

2017 — Premature Lamb Incubates Fetal Lamb

2018 — The first human Born through IVF Turns 40

This article is part of the Artificial Womb research project by NNN. The goal of this project is to develop thought-provoking scenarios that facilitate a much-needed discussion about the way technology radically alters our attitude towards reproduction, gender, relationships and love in the 21st century. We highly value your feedback or input, contributions can be sent to womb@nextnature.net.

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