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Abstract

The politics of conception in India can be traced back to the birth of the world's first test-tube baby in 1978. This article focuses on an incident where scientists and clinicians were involved in a heated contest over ascription of intellectual credit for the birth of the first test-tube baby in India. It traces the controversy surrounding claims and counter-claims within the medical domain that appear to have emerged as a corollary to the rapid expansion of assisted conception in India. The article emphasizes the fact that this contentious issue played out largely in the media and shows that the generation of scientific credibility and reward is produced and ascribed both inside and outside the scientific domain. In so doing the article offers a glimpse into the unique ability of cultural activity to shape and recast the perception of science and scientific outcomes.

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