The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has gone this year to biologist Robert G. Edwards, who developed the procedure of in vitro fertilization. Since Helen and I created our family this way, we owe him a debt of thanks.

Edwards developed the method with physician Patrick Steptoe, who died in 1988, reports the New York Times.

The NYT article also discusses how controversial Dr. Edwards’ work was at first, noting that the 30-year delay between his discovery and his prize was particularly long.

The U.K’s Guardian newspaper has more on Edwards’ work, along with a quote from Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” (a term I don’t entirely like, as it implies the child is some sort of artificial life form). Brown, who now has children of her own, said: “It’s fantastic news, me and mum are so glad that one of the pioneers of IVF has been given the recognition he deserves.”

Congratulations to Dr. Edwards!