How one scientist averted a national health crisis - Andrea Tone

  • katma 7 Haz 2018
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    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 short-cuts.
    Lesson by Andrea Tone, animation by TED-Ed.
    Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! Claudia Mayfield, Justus Berberich, Pavel Zalevskiy, Yankai Liu, Duo Xu, Ghassan Alhazzaa, Miloš Stevanović, Joy Love Om, Gi Nam Lee, Shawn Quichocho, Simone Kidner, Anika Westburg, Barun Padhy, Brandy Jones, Devin Harris, Tony Trapuzzano, Stephen Michael Alvarez, Tom Lee, Juliana, Jason Weinstein, Kris Siverhus, Alexander Walls, Annamaria Szilagyi, Morgan Williams, Abhijit Kiran Valluri, Mandeep Singh, Sama aafghani, سلطان الخليفي, Marylise CHAUFFETON, Marvin Vizuett, Jayant Sahewal, Quinn Shen, Caleb ross, Elizabeth Cruz, Elnathan Joshua Bangayan, Gaurav Rana, Mullaiarasu Sundaramurthy, Jose Henrique Leopoldo e Silva, Dan Paterniti, Jerome Froelich, Tyler Yoshizumi, Martin Stephen, Justin Carpani, Faiza Imtiaz, Khalifa Alhulail, Tejas Dc, Benjamin & Shannon Pinder, Srikote Naewchampa, Ex Foedus, and Sage Curie.

YORUMLAR • 1 580

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  8 aylar önce +726

    If you're a student with a passion for science, share your ideas, discoveries and hopes with the world through TED's student idea platform: If your passions lie elsewhere, we want to hear from you, too! TED-Ed is creating a space to celebrate and amplify student ideas on a wide range of topics - from human rights to staying organized in school - and we want you to be a part of it! Check it out!

    • MadGirl BitchingBoutStuffs
      MadGirl BitchingBoutStuffs 17 gün önce

      You forgot:
      "except of course, if you are a guy. Then we don't want you."

    • OOOF exe
      OOOF exe 25 gün önce

      Nope they dont care weather you have a passion or not only if you do what they say and make me money

    • Alex Erhan
      Alex Erhan 2 aylar önce

      Ted Ed = prickly Philadelphia

    • Arnav Kelkar
      Arnav Kelkar 5 aylar önce

      TED-Ed (

  • Jorge W
    Jorge W 3 gün önce

    Nossa, fui rever esse vídeo depois de mais de um ano e percebi que por engano eu tinha dado deslike, ainda bem q eu voltei pra corrigir

  • Ishika -
    Ishika - 7 gün önce +1

    She's an inspiration ❤

  • That Random Scottish Laddie

    And she's today's unsung badass of history

  • BosniaBROGaming
    BosniaBROGaming 10 gün önce

    Good i agree

  • what am I doing ?
    what am I doing ? 14 gün önce

    Still waiting for ted

  • Charlie Reeder
    Charlie Reeder 16 gün önce

    amazing story! had to turn it off when it got near the end about women earning less pay tho...

  • Michael Fixedsys
    Michael Fixedsys 16 gün önce

    Mrs.Kelsey wasn't just a badass
    she was a badass who did her job, and did it well!

  • David Perrier
    David Perrier 17 gün önce

    If this happened today, Republicans would be trying to get Thalidomide approved because big government was unfairly rejected a drug that is obviously healthy.

  • Ankur Mukherjee
    Ankur Mukherjee 18 gün önce

    Some always complain about less representation of women in stem field but do not talk their representation in the jobs of firefighters,police etc.They also do not say anything about more representation of women in the jobs like teaching , medical field ,law etc. Is not all job should be respected equally ?

  • Opticendymion 96
    Opticendymion 96 19 gün önce

    i don't think i was paying enough attention

  • red x17
    red x17 19 gün önce

    women on average dont like stem fields. get that through your thick head

  • Googal Nano Tanr
    Googal Nano Tanr 19 gün önce

    Anti vaxxers will use this as evidence

  • Georgia Peeches
    Georgia Peeches 23 gün önce

    4:37 no she was almost ruined due to monopolies. She would have never gotten an award and gotten FDA backing if it was sexist.

  • Flippish Pinoy
    Flippish Pinoy 23 gün önce

    not for long weed is already legal

  • Kyle Ackerson
    Kyle Ackerson 23 gün önce +1

    Beautiful story

  • sweiland75
    sweiland75 24 gün önce

    How one scientist averted a -national- American health crisis

  • sarupi
    sarupi 24 gün önce

    Imagine all the people that could have die if she doesn't hide his female name in the application

  • BSD Fan
    BSD Fan 25 gün önce

    I already know what this videos about...
    Blah blah blah... someone cleans up hospitals... blah blah blah... she prevents patients and doctors from getting sick because of how grimy the hospitals were... blah blah BLAH..!

    • BSD Fan
      BSD Fan 25 gün önce


  • Nightmare Dragon
    Nightmare Dragon 25 gün önce

    She was so important, but not many know what she did these days.

  • The Generalist
    The Generalist 26 gün önce

    Well done.

  • casey/emil c:
    casey/emil c: 29 gün önce

    hah my profile picture

  • Robert A
    Robert A Aylar önce

    How has no one pointed out that she was 101 years old when she died?

  • KaiserAfini
    KaiserAfini Aylar önce

    A great professional does not let anything stop them from delivering methodical assessments and putting the welfare of the public first. Dr Kelsey is an inspiration to all fields, not just pharmacology.

  • Black Hatred
    Black Hatred Aylar önce

    Bro, she was 101

  • Crista D.
    Crista D. Aylar önce

    Amazing how many microd*cks got triggered by the ending of the video. The comment section is hilarious.

    • Crista D.
      Crista D. 20 gün önce

      +Dr Vertigo thanks cap

    • Dr Vertigo
      Dr Vertigo 20 gün önce

      you know you dont have to censor your self

  • Matriks
    Matriks Aylar önce

    And that man, was Eren jaegers dad

  • Imperator Augustus
    Imperator Augustus Aylar önce +2

    Women disproportionately represented in STEM fields? What could this mean? Gender bias, of course; just like in the 1930's! The video was great until this part. I don't think I've ever hit my face harder than in the end there.

  • Saiki Chan
    Saiki Chan Aylar önce

    Wow 101 years old

  • Bobby C
    Bobby C Aylar önce

    This is egalitarianism done right. If you want women to receive the same recognition as men, then don't qualify their achievements with epithets describing their gender.

  • Jock McBile
    Jock McBile Aylar önce

    A great story. It is sad, we haven't moved on much, but we are heading in the right direction. Thank you to Dr. Kelsey

  • Dyzinel
    Dyzinel Aylar önce

    She really was amazing and badass huh.

  • sapplejax
    sapplejax Aylar önce +1

    What a legend of a human. Amazing.

  • SilverS Gaming
    SilverS Gaming Aylar önce

    She spent her live saving many of those in her time and many more in the future.
    Truly a hero.

  • Hecatia Lapislazuli
    Hecatia Lapislazuli Aylar önce

    There TRclips, I finally watched it. Now stop reccomending it.

  • xXxMartin96xXx
    xXxMartin96xXx Aylar önce

    "Yet women are underepresented in STEM fields. Why?"
    Maybe because not enough girls want to study STEM?

  • zeldafreak701
    zeldafreak701 Aylar önce

    Good God, just think if you parents were born around that time, they could've been subject to these horrible diseases!
    That being said, TED, please let's just focus on the accomplishments of this lady and not push this SJW nonsense. This is a different time and women most certainly are not subject to gender biases in the STEM field. They're just underrepresented because not enough of them want to a STEM career. If you're going to go that route, then let's talk about how males are underrepresented in fields such as education and nursing.

  • AlchemistOfNirnroot
    AlchemistOfNirnroot Aylar önce

    I remember this from GCSE bio...

  • napstrike
    napstrike Aylar önce

    It is believed that only USA and Turkey managed to stay away from this dangerous drug. In the Turkish front, the Distinguished Prof. Dr. Süreyya Tahsin Aygün was working on stem cells and investigated the drug. He noticed that it would have adverse effects on pregnant women (since it was his field of work), and informed the ministry of health. The ministry of health banned the drug and saved the nation. However,
    Kelsey was declared a hero in the USA, while some idiots tried to declare Aygun as a charlatan in Turkey. Only when the Germans named an institute after him, the nation learned the truth about him.

  • DinoWolf35
    DinoWolf35 Aylar önce

    You had me until the end when you go on about STEM, there is actually a preference of taking girls over boys into STEM so the reason there aren't so many girls is because not that many girls are applying

  • indeepj
    indeepj Aylar önce

    Is She Still Alive?

  • Isaac Mikola
    Isaac Mikola Aylar önce

    It kind of reminds me of a famous picture of Madam Curie sitting with Einstein, Schrodinger, and a lot of other famous scientists in the Solvay Conference picture. She had a trench coat on.

  • megannnjay
    megannnjay Aylar önce

    What a freaking cool lady

  • The Dark Musket
    The Dark Musket Aylar önce +1

    You guys just had to make it political in the end, but still gave the video a like for the main content

  • Tyler Mustard
    Tyler Mustard Aylar önce

    women are less represented in STEM because less women are in STEM

  • Mysty Draco
    Mysty Draco Aylar önce

    F-F-facts over opinions???

  • Pinochet
    Pinochet Aylar önce +1

    Thanks TED-ED, very cool!

  • nah fool
    nah fool Aylar önce

    Badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass badass

  • The Furriner794
    The Furriner794 Aylar önce +1

    If we had her today, maybe Big Pharma wouldn't be as greedy and dangerous, and produce drugs that create Autism.
    We need another Francis Kelsey, quick.

  • TrueUser025
    TrueUser025 Aylar önce

    Women are underrepresented in STEM fields because less women choose to work there.
    You don't see men complaining about being underrepresented in schools or psychology etc because they also choose not to work there

  • FlammieLL
    FlammieLL Aylar önce

    I love finding rare gems like these.
    History is full of interesting people like these who changed the world, for the BETTER!

  • Max Bowen
    Max Bowen Aylar önce

    Anyone else finally figure out what that lyric was in didn’t start the fire

  • Road to 1000 hours of piano in 1 year

    How one Teemo adverted a backdoor crisis by building full AP and placing shrooms all over his base. (Assuming, of course, that such base had at least one inhibitor down and no towers at all, not even nexus turrets).

  • Conman
    Conman Aylar önce

    Its not that women are underrepresented in stem today, its that less women are interested in it

  • StonedRazor mrSaltyWater

    Next up: a brief history of cheese. yurt

  • Wyatt
    Wyatt Aylar önce

    Good video, too bad you had to stuck in liberal propaganda in the very end. Disliked.

  • jmsloss
    jmsloss Aylar önce

    God had her in the right place, at the right time, to do the right thing...

  • Vincent Krull
    Vincent Krull Aylar önce

    FDA: The Federal Dookie Association

  • Jovan Lee
    Jovan Lee Aylar önce

    While everyone thanked her. Can we thank all those in your FDA that supported her?

  • Witherman1
    Witherman1 Aylar önce

    I do wonder how many people born with disabilities could have lived normal lives if not for things we put in our water and food.

  • Nerd
    Nerd Aylar önce +3

    I saw the title, I knew it was Thalidomide.
    Frances Oldham Kelsey was a legend. What she did left a mark in history. I am so proud of her. I will forever be grateful to Kelsey.

  • DarkWorld25
    DarkWorld25 Aylar önce

    Well uhh, I'm pretty sure that it was an Australian Scientist that banned it, correct me if I'm wrong tho

  • A Random Rock
    A Random Rock Aylar önce

    Graduated at 15? I was a freshman at 14-15.

  • Zzul Ma
    Zzul Ma Aylar önce

    So touching

  • Annabel Morimoto
    Annabel Morimoto Aylar önce

    Knew it was her just by the title!
    I learned about her in my Chemistry class. She's so cool!!

  • Laura isanbaeva
    Laura isanbaeva Aylar önce +1

    Women are underrated in STEM fields because women aren't interested in STEM. If you want to actually help, seek out young girls and encourage them. Christ.

  • The Reprehensible
    The Reprehensible Aylar önce +1

    "Affirmative action" would like to know your location.

  • josh rixon
    josh rixon Aylar önce

    I wanna hear about more good stories like this. Thank you Ted-ed.

  • J M
    J M Aylar önce +1

    Sorry. Stopped caring when it turned into "blah blah blah feminism blah blah blah men doctors blah blah superiority blah."

  • Marco Glaner
    Marco Glaner Aylar önce

    Good stuff

  • JAKphoenixify
    JAKphoenixify Aylar önce +1

    I love how people calmly ignore the fact that the FDA openly supported Kelsey despite corporate shilling.

  • Ratyr
    Ratyr Aylar önce

    Nowadays, Thalidomide is used *extremely* sparingly. Thanks to Frances, Thalidomide was prevented from showing up on the US market before its effects were truly understood, and by the grace of God, the FDA supported her.
    As a result, we've had the time and reason to figure out what Thalidomide can cause and now, with very careful regulation (especially when it comes to pregnancy) it is used for a select few of diseases, like a certain cancer and leprosy complications.
    Thanks to all of these early pioneers in Thalidomide's history who rejected the drug or sought further testing, many people have been prevented from being born deformed or dead.
    Thalidomide's past use was a disaster, but it could have been much, much worse.

  • Lexi Barrow
    Lexi Barrow Aylar önce

    I actually learned about Thalidomide in Biology, and we learned about the damages it had on children throughout the UK.

  • Spikey Plant
    Spikey Plant Aylar önce

    Germans, eh? Guess old habits die hard.

    It's not that serious 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Darling Jewel
    Darling Jewel Aylar önce

    Thank you so much. I have aunts and uncles and my mom who were all born in the 50s and 60s. Without you they might not be here.

  • Petitio Principii
    Petitio Principii Aylar önce

    This is another example of how those conspiracy theories of "hidden cures" kept secret by the big pharma are plain BS. More likely they'll be trying to push into the market things that don't work, don't quite work, or with too many adverse effects. That's the closest thing to a "conspiracy theory" that there is. TED has an interesting presentation on the subject, by Ben Goldacre: _"What doctors don't know about the drugs they prescribe"_

    It's also mentioned in some regard or another in a the series "calling BS in the age of big data":

  • Itsa Games
    Itsa Games Aylar önce

    well, thank you Frances!

  • Grayson Goss
    Grayson Goss Aylar önce

    Love how five angry people only have two arms.

  • K
    K Aylar önce

    Thank you for the excellent video!

  • Joseph Grey
    Joseph Grey Aylar önce


  • Gilda Hobbs
    Gilda Hobbs Aylar önce +1

    Growing up in Germany, I've heard the story of Thalidomide many times, but always as a depressing and haunting tragedy.
    Glad to hear so many people could be saved and this story could become the remarkably impressive inspiration we see here!
    Frances is a true hero.

  • Shoto Todoroki
    Shoto Todoroki Aylar önce

    She’s cool.

  • Bakpfeife
    Bakpfeife Aylar önce

    Good thing till the preachy end that just doesn't factor in psychology or any other measurement than the underrepresentation in stem fields.

  • Communist Furry
    Communist Furry Aylar önce

    Capitalism™ - Sacrificing morality for profit.

  • Thomas Martinez
    Thomas Martinez Aylar önce

    + Apocalypse averted

  • BladeOfLight16
    BladeOfLight16 Aylar önce

    Thank you, Mrs. Kelsey.
    As for why women are don't make up nearly 50% of STEM, maybe take a page out of Kelsey's handbook and look at the data:

  • Scott-E
    Scott-E Aylar önce

    FINE TRclips

  • Justin K.
    Justin K. Aylar önce +1

    Mm hmm women was not accepted yet i think

  • Cyphon
    Cyphon Aylar önce


  • Jlfreedom
    Jlfreedom Aylar önce

    Wait even after thalidomide's side were discovered the company tried for 7 more months to get it approved!?!? Wow talk about terrible people

  • Lord TouchMe
    Lord TouchMe Aylar önce

    So she did her Job? I feel the people who think this is great are the ones who passed with George Bushes No child left behind ac. Also the adults who think their younger generation lacks confidence so they promote new like this instead of saying give a 110% and do better than your peers

  • Crazilily
    Crazilily Aylar önce

    Wait did i just watch a five minute advertisment

  • Worshipper_of_Kek
    Worshipper_of_Kek Aylar önce

    I hered about this on Call the Midwife.

  • Vence Ibul
    Vence Ibul Aylar önce

    Thank you Francis K.

  • Raiden the cyborg
    Raiden the cyborg Aylar önce

    The show ends at 4:38

  • Hot Pinecone
    Hot Pinecone Aylar önce

    Kelsey:Ayy thanks for this drug I'll test it
    Kelsey:This is bad for you
    German Company:NO IS NOT (x7)

  • hbarudi
    hbarudi Aylar önce

    So they didn't have pregnancy category levels back in 1960? Something that is considered standard today. Thanks for that to help women decide on medications and for doctors to adjust prescriptions accordingly. Also good that the FDA accepted the decision and not relied on the corporations trying to sell more of the medication.

  • TextBox green _plakat everything

    Badass women around.

  • zackadiax24
    zackadiax24 Aylar önce


  • Johnyong Hwang
    Johnyong Hwang Aylar önce