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Dr. Rock's Taxonomy| Revisionist History podcast with Malcolm Gladwell E6/S4 (Transcript)

Dr. Rock's Taxonomy

Episode 6| Season 4| Revisionist History

Length: 43 mins | Released: July 25, 2019

To see the full transcript, go here.

NOTE: Episodes 3 -11 are contained in one interactive project. Click the down arrow to the right of the episode name to select it.

Malcolm Gladwell: It's 1964. NBC News anchorman, David Brinkley, has come to Boston to meet John Rock.

David Brinkley: Dr. Rock, who is 73 years old, lives and works in Brookline, Massachusetts. Mainly, he works at his clinic or center devoted to the study of human reproduction and the treatment of problems in an area where, when you get down to it, remarkably little is known.

Malcolm Gladwell: John Rock, the most famous physician in the United States, co-inventor of one of the most important drugs in human history, the birth control pill.

Malcolm Gladwell: He went to the High School of Commerce in Boston, to Harvard, to Harvard Medical School, interned at Massachusetts General Hospital, directed, for 30 years, a fertility clinic at the Free Hospital for Women, and now goes to mass every day at Brookline's St. Mary's Church.

Malcolm Gladwell: My name is Malcolm Gladwell. You're listening to Revisionist History, my podcast about things overlooked or misunderstood. This is the second of three episodes on how to think like a Jesuit. This one is about John Rock's great dilemma. A man who went to mass every day at St. Mary's Catholic Church, and then helped create the pill, something his church could not accept.

John Rock: One of the events which shaped my later life to a great degree was an experience I had with Father Finnick, who was a curate in Marlboro.

Malcolm Gladwell: Rock is tall, distinguished, looks like Cary Grant. His interview with Brinkley was over half a century ago, so forgive the quality of the tape.

John Rock: I was just about 14 and walking out of mass one Sunday when Father Finnick beckoned me and asked me if I would like to drive down with him to visit the old folks home, what we children called the poor farm. Father Finnick was a quiet and unobtrusive man. When he was holding forth a first communion class or a confirmation class, he put across what he intended as with clarity and vigor so that much of it has remained with me all my life.

Malcolm Gladwell: At this point, NBC shows b-roll of a horse and carriage, something Rock would have ridden in his youth, and they've added sound effects. God bless them.

John Rock: We had never been more than just friendly, but somehow, I remember quite distinctly, on that ride, he was sounding off saying, "John, always stick to your own conscience. Let no one ever keep it for you."

Malcolm Gladwell: It's clear, as Rock tells that story, that it has stayed with him his whole life.

John Rock: And just as I was beginning to get that, then there was a moment's pause and then he said, "And when I say no one, I mean no one." I've never forgotten those words.

Malcolm Gladwell: So I just wouldn't talk about him, because I find him, as I'm sure you do, to be such a fascinating figure, extraordinary figure.

To see the full transcript, go here and select the episode.

Transcripts for the entire Season 1  podcasts of Revisionist History are available here.

Simon Says is an automated transcription service. We assist people and companies, such as those in the media, to swiftly transcribe audio and video files so they can find that meaningful dialogue. We are not associated with Revisionist History or Panoply Media; we are just big fans. And we highly recommend you listen to the podcast if you can. We have provided the transcript below as a supplement. Enjoy!