How one scientist averted a national health crisis

Dr Frances Oldham Kelsey : 20th-century American heroine for her role in the Thalidomide case

In 1960, Frances Kelsey was one of the Food and Drug Administration’s newest recruits. Before the year was out, she would begin a fight that would save thousands of lives — though no one knew it at the time.

  • Andrea Tone explains how Kelsey was able to prevent a massive national public health tragedy by privileging facts over opinions, and patience over shortcuts.
  • Video published on 7 June 2018 by TED-Ed.

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