A population of super-people only. That was Robert Graham's vision when he started the Repository for Germinal Choice in California. Also known as: the Nobel Prize sperm bank. He saw great danger in the fact that humankind was ‘dumbing down’. He meant: instead of survival of the fittest we keep the weak alive and they have more children. His mission to improve the human gene pool started with calling all the Nobel Prize winners and asking them to multiply their brilliant genes. As he didn’t pay them or charge the recipients, it’s clear that he strongly believed in this ideology. Though he was accused of being unethical, there are developments in the same direction. Achieving superior human cells is a subject of renewed scientific focus with the emergence of IVG and CRISPR technology, which both enable human genome editing on an unprecedented level.
Nicholas Isel is one of the 215 children born out of sperm from the Nobel Prize sperm bank. None of which were actually conceived with Nobel Prize winning sperm. The first fifteen years of his life he always felt something was off. He did not feel any connection to his asocial stepfather. After he was told the truth he began the search for his biological father. As the donors contributed anonymously, it took him more than a year and the help of journalist David Plotz to find him. Nicholas is 32 now and getting his story out and changing policy totally engrosses him. We speak with him about his views on the infertility industry, his genetic illness, his fears for the future and the mission he took upon himself.