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 • 1 417

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  Aylar önce +407

    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!

    • Simrah Siddiqui
      Simrah Siddiqui Aylar önce


    • TheSassi42
      TheSassi42 Aylar önce

      lalla jha I don't understand. this video political. I thought it was about a scientist/doctor.

    • lalla jha
      lalla jha Aylar önce

      Tedx stop using it for political benefits. It's a learning organization not a political one.

    • TheSassi42
      TheSassi42 Aylar önce

      The title is not chosen very well... The health crisis already happend. She averted it from spreading to the US and more countries. But saying she averted it could come over belittling to the health crisis that already happened, if the word is interpreted wrongly. I would recommend «averted it from the US» or similar.

    • miguel Saavedra
      miguel Saavedra Aylar önce

      phoenixkhost kd,wlöwylsodosls
      Pkw 101a
      A a

  • Young Mo$e$
    Young Mo$e$ 3 gün önce

    Can y'all do some more men

  • NoriMori
    NoriMori 4 gün önce

    Thank God the FDA backed her up. This could have turned out a lot differently otherwise.

  • Husnain Ali
    Husnain Ali 8 gün önce

    amazing work...

  • 000000 000000
    000000 000000 9 gün önce

    Women are underrepresented in STEM fields because women tend to be less interested in STEM fields.

  • Hi, I'm Hot Rod
    Hi, I'm Hot Rod 11 gün önce

    Why don't you humans have a day for her? She save people's lives!

  • Pulse VII
    Pulse VII 11 gün önce

    Everyone is talking about Kelsey, but Merrel sounds like an *ss

  • Jakédsoké
    Jakédsoké 11 gün önce

    I’m Canadian

  • Dravelen Hawk
    Dravelen Hawk 12 gün önce

    What if it was a guy?

  • Elinor
    Elinor 12 gün önce

    My dad was almost a thalidomide baby. My grandmother was prescribed thalidomide (in Sweden in the 60s) and fortunately she never took it.

  • TMHedge
    TMHedge 13 gün önce

    4:42 "Pervasive gender biases"
    It wasn't gender bias that did that, it was money.
    You said it yourself earlier in the video!, it was a 2.24 billion dollar industry!, the company that sold the drug wanted in to that industry regardless of the risk to the public.
    They targeted her because she was the one most in charge of approving/rejecting the case!, not because of her gender, but because she was the one person in their way stopping them from getting their drug on the markets.

  • montork
    montork 14 gün önce

    stereotype: women value feelings over facts and are too emotional.
    stereotype: women are too nitpicky and difficult.
    males will literally flip flop if it will get them what they want.

  • Being Greatest
    Being Greatest 14 gün önce

    Respect for the lady👏👏

  • shingshongshamalama
    shingshongshamalama 15 gün önce

    If you ever doubt the brutal inhumanity of corporate business, just remember that this company was complaining to the FDA and whining to get a drug approved for sale that THEY KNEW AT THE TIME CAUSED BIRTH DEFECTS.

  • Al Cor
    Al Cor 16 gün önce

    She has a school named after her on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

  • Aisha Bhat
    Aisha Bhat 16 gün önce +1

    Very nice animation and speaker but I want Addison Anderson 😂😂😂

  • Ntokozo Moyo
    Ntokozo Moyo 16 gün önce

    Doing the right thing is so rare that you get a medal for it. She's an example of why it's so important.

  • Sophie Jones
    Sophie Jones 16 gün önce

    Too bad no one like this works at the FDA anymore. "that continue to protect people today" lol. the only people protected by the FDA these days are pharmacists.

  • Connor Shaw-case
    Connor Shaw-case 17 gün önce

    Why are women underepresented in stem when they have a 2:1 advantage in being hired and are graduating college more then men? Maybe its to do with less women wanting to do stem not everyone is as sexist as the 1940s

  • Hailey25
    Hailey25 17 gün önce +1

    To any young girls (or anyone for that matter) interested in science, there is this amazing book called "Women in Science" by Rachel Ignotofsky. It talks about the work of over 50 different female scientists from Roman times to the Space Race from all over the world. It's a fairly easy read and very detailed, and many of the women did these absolutely revolutionary things yet almost no one today will recognize their names. I recommend it to anyone.

  • Andrew Aziz
    Andrew Aziz 24 gün önce +1

    As a pharmacist, I thank Dr. Kelsey for her contribution to the profession. As my mentors have told me "always practice evidence-based medicine, not eminence-based medicine"

  • V D.O.
    V D.O. 25 gün önce +1

    Lmfao the amount of sexist guys on the comments is too damn high.

  • Kezbardo
    Kezbardo 26 gün önce

    Yooo I remember this from Breaking Bad, when Walter explained chirality in his class, he used Thalidomide as an example

  • Hensley JeanBaptiste
    Hensley JeanBaptiste 27 gün önce +1

    She lived to 101 wow she really was a doctor of medicine

  • ruzzell907
    ruzzell907 28 gün önce

    Countless children have been saved without us knowing.

  • Woofie Play
    Woofie Play 28 gün önce +1

    Not every superhero wears a cap

  • Mariana Torres
    Mariana Torres 28 gün önce

    Basically, a brain with legs 💖

  • anthony white
    anthony white 29 gün önce


  • Prometheus Kapoor
    Prometheus Kapoor 29 gün önce +1

    i want to cure AIDS

  • phoeniximperator
    phoeniximperator Aylar önce

    I'm surprised that they didn't brand her as a communist and anti capitalist

  • Josélina Aygretto
    Josélina Aygretto Aylar önce

    why is STEM so important?

  • bubmah axr
    bubmah axr Aylar önce

    how did someone could enter an undergrad and master degree at the same time? wow.

  • Tenhys
    Tenhys Aylar önce +1

    _Frances Oldham Kelsey_
    She lived 101 years ?! Holy guacamole ! Color me impressed.

  • Noodle Kaboodle
    Noodle Kaboodle Aylar önce

    The most horrifying thing about thalidomide is that it's STILL used in Brazil despite the well documented damage to feotuses

  • Hershel Katz
    Hershel Katz Aylar önce

    she's so cool

  • xxthecapitalistxx
    xxthecapitalistxx Aylar önce

    Maybe women are naturally more atracted to some jobs, and men to others.

  • will k
    will k Aylar önce

    If drugs are associated with harm, then why is weed illegal. And why do you have to make this video a gender issue, if a female wants to do a stem subject she can, THERE IS NO BARRIER in the way of her getting any sort of work in that field

  • Mohdzahrin Bin Abdul Rahman

    Im not american so this is the first time i heard bout her.phew i was so worried that she would not get the recognition she deserved as i watch it at the early part..bravo!

  • ElGringo
    ElGringo Aylar önce

    “The only reason more women aren’t in stem fields is because of patriarchy” has better not be in any of those videos if TED wants me to keep taking them seriously. Fingers crossed

  • Mark Smith
    Mark Smith Aylar önce

    Scientifically train bureaucrat. The FDA is a bureaucracy- sometimes behaving more bureaucratically and sometimes being out of control organisation.

  • driftster99
    driftster99 Aylar önce

    0:57 that fade though 👌

  • winnkey
    winnkey Aylar önce

    This was a great possitive story one which needs to be told in this day and age where we are having a resurgence of drugs trying to be rushed through the process with dodgy science. I was about to share but your shoehorn political push which was already covered by your narrative tarnished this for me. I have nothing against your desire to diversify the field of stem. Diverse people, equal diverse thinking and that is always a possitive in science.
    Its just i clicked on this and wished to share this because of a strong story about the revolution of a field, but then you made me have to then also share a political statement as well.... i didnt want to make a strong political statement. I wanted to share a strong story

  • Brendan Goosen
    Brendan Goosen Aylar önce

    Why would you turn this into a gender thing? So annoying! Get over yourselves! it's 2018 FFS

  • Devan S.
    Devan S. Aylar önce

    Then people in 2018 take it too far and we get anti-vacciners. uneducated people lead to uneducated research, educated people lead to life saving research.

  • Kate Hu
    Kate Hu Aylar önce

    I was loving the video until that gender commentary... ANYONE who stands their ground as a gatekeeper against a nuerotoxin should be lauded. That's all that matters.
    We need more like Frances not because she is a she but because she is a person of good morale.

  • SR Creative Media
    SR Creative Media Aylar önce

    Maybe there is not equality of outcomes in STEM because men and women don't want the exact same thing. But I see nothing but equality of opportunities being presented now... even back in the 1950s... She worked hard and got what she worked for and made a difference.

  • random guy
    random guy Aylar önce

    Maybe women are underrepresented in STEM because less women want to take STEM then men - just like the inverse for, say, nursing.

  • Tak Tsing
    Tak Tsing Aylar önce

    I really feel the pressure she faced, especially when German had already approved the use.

  • Christian Prepper
    Christian Prepper Aylar önce

    3:57 Then they turn a blind eye or attack the competition of well funded pharmaceutical companies.

  • Katen Cyan
    Katen Cyan Aylar önce

    I love hearing stories about great scientists!

  • TheNinjaMarmot
    TheNinjaMarmot Aylar önce

    She would have been on PETA.'s hitlist despite saving many human lives at the expense of animals

  • Ryan Wei
    Ryan Wei Aylar önce

    am i the only one who noticed she graduated high school at 15

  • Jonah Safern
    Jonah Safern Aylar önce

    Oh, good GOD! They just *had* to make it about feminism and women's supposed inequalities, didn't they?

  • Velcon X13
    Velcon X13 Aylar önce

    This is amazing that u actually found thus

  • Bella B
    Bella B Aylar önce +1

    We was all born for a reason.

  • Dank Paradox
    Dank Paradox Aylar önce

    Women are not "unrepresented in STEM fields." They simply choose areas like nursing and business more frequently and men choose areas like physics and engineering more frequently. What's in these studies simply show the result of men and women's free choices. Good video other than the common misconception that the reason women don't join STEM is because they're persuaded not to

  • Lisa Mae Gilbert
    Lisa Mae Gilbert Aylar önce

    101 years! Wow! 👏👏👏

  • Kyori Nicks
    Kyori Nicks Aylar önce

    Wage gap doesn't exist us men must protect ourselves from feminism. 1 min later FBI OPEN UP!

  • Captain Doom
    Captain Doom Aylar önce

    And to think, if she didn't get the job, there would be a HUGE national health issue ALONGSIDE the news and mainstream media.

  • Løvely Lady
    Løvely Lady Aylar önce

    Sis was getting her education 👏👏👏

  • Chidz Hustle
    Chidz Hustle Aylar önce

    That’s funny, when I studied Thalidomide in school they never mentioned Kelsey, I understand it wasn’t relevant to the course but she was a massive reason it never spread in the US

  • DPowered Smith
    DPowered Smith Aylar önce

    She would be fired or ignored thinking that way now

  • Jad Sayegh
    Jad Sayegh Aylar önce

    McGill pride!

  • MindTech
    MindTech Aylar önce


  • John Marshall
    John Marshall Aylar önce

    Dr. Helen B. Taussig was one that stopped thalidomide in USA

  • Elliander Eldridge
    Elliander Eldridge Aylar önce

    Unfortunately, "evidence based policies " seem to be less and less the case, with the precautionary principle rarely being applied. In one 90s case, a genetically modified organism was developed to cheaply produce fuel from useless biomass, namely the part of crops not used after a harvest. The FDA required that tests be conducted in sterile conditions, which demonstrated safety and it was approved. Then, during the peer review process, a sample was tested at a German University under real world conditions where it was quickly discovered that it spreads into the soil, persists such that the Earth would havto be cooked several feet down to remove, and kills living plants to then convert to fuel. Had this been released we'd be looking at a worst case scenario, and all because the FDA doesn't accept tests under real conditions. Or course, after this was published the FDA withdrew their approval. It's been a very long time since I read about it and I can't remember much more about it, but it was very interesting. And no, I don't actually oppose genetic engineering being that I major in genetics, but I do think more needs to be done to ensure safety.

  • Cry Whit
    Cry Whit Aylar önce

    The FDA needs to pull her out of retirement, and rehire her. Somebody over there is slipping up...

    • Devilmonkey
      Devilmonkey Aylar önce

      She died 3 years ago at 101 years old.
      So that might be hard to do.

  • D D
    D D Aylar önce

    She lived 101 years

  • Terd Ferguson
    Terd Ferguson Aylar önce

    Because most women chose the easy way. Like Gender Studies instead of stem cell research, lol.

  • xXevilsmilesXx
    xXevilsmilesXx Aylar önce

    had me up till the end. Virtue signaling is the antithesis of everything the video supported. You just under-cut this amazing story with gender politics.

  • Anthony Flores
    Anthony Flores Aylar önce +2

    Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide bew...bee...dow..dow

  • Chris F
    Chris F Aylar önce

    she showed character by doing what is right and saveing the babies from deth and defects over submitting to all the pressure those people put on her to aproove there drug

  • fyukfy
    fyukfy Aylar önce

    There are less women in STEM because women don't want to be in STEM

    • Danielle
      Danielle 19 gün önce

      lol, you'd think so, but then you get women like Marie Curie, who actively fought against the then all male university in her area AND the corrupt government she was raised with in order to join the STEM field

  • KaidaCestro
    KaidaCestro Aylar önce

    Damn 1930 was brutal to women

  • M P
    M P Aylar önce

    I wonder what domestically made alernatives she saw approved instead of thalidomide and what was the offer she couldnt refuse

  • Ella Aston
    Ella Aston Aylar önce

    What does STEM mean ?

    • Danielle
      Danielle 19 gün önce

      Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

  • jonas andersson
    jonas andersson Aylar önce

    what's STEM?

  • Joey Prette
    Joey Prette Aylar önce +1

    This video was great... Until they spewed some left propaganda at the end.
    (Also, before you reply I'm not saying that only the left does this. I am merely stating my distaste for how TED uses its influence for political gain. And my opinion would be the same if a person or an organization did the same on the right)
    Anyways, good on her, and dang... I wanna live that long, she clearly did something right!

  • Debra Timms
    Debra Timms Aylar önce

    44bebea 1108debra ok 44bebea 1108debra pat 44bebea 1108debra ok 44bebea ok yes 3pm pat 44bebea jpsdebra

  • Robby S
    Robby S Aylar önce +2

    03:21-03:32 is a pretty blatant example of why we NEED government oversight.

    • Devilmonkey
      Devilmonkey Aylar önce

      I'd rather have a government that I can control than a company that can fleece me.

  • Tsubaki Turtle Cannon
    Tsubaki Turtle Cannon Aylar önce


    AGRADONTÉ Aylar önce

    This is cool because prevention is better than cure

  • Alexander Schwartz
    Alexander Schwartz Aylar önce

    This was beautiful till the agenda at the end rolled in, if you want a job in STEM go get it... stop blaming men

  • wasabi
    wasabi Aylar önce

    I got goosebumps

  • zaimah Begum-Diamond
    zaimah Begum-Diamond Aylar önce

    Go Frances. Wish I had your courage.

  • ThomasKT
    ThomasKT Aylar önce

    not all heroes wear capes, some wear lab coats instead

  • Bob The Polymath
    Bob The Polymath Aylar önce

    Cool animation

  • AppleAmor
    AppleAmor Aylar önce

    She probably lived to 101 because she didn't take all those drugs

  • Frank The Dank Plank
    Frank The Dank Plank Aylar önce

    It was actually 2 scientists

  • M.C wolf Phoenix
    M.C wolf Phoenix Aylar önce

    I just finished watching so many vine videos, so everything is so funny to me right now!!

    BOBS YEAH Aylar önce

    101 years LOL

  • Newbytooby
    Newbytooby Aylar önce +2

    Why does the “moral of the story” have to be about how one women did it and it’s because she’s a women that it happened? Why can’t it be about how a strong willed individual stuck with their gut instinct and stood up for what she believed was right?

  • Julia Rhoden
    Julia Rhoden Aylar önce

    I really like this video and how they don't make it seem like an accident that she did something good like some other channels do when they talk about women.

  • Pras Aryal
    Pras Aryal Aylar önce

    President Trump has now signed a bill called as "Right to Try" Bill.That basically says that you have right to use certain drug even if it dont has FDA approval. So, Good luck with that. Republicans are pro-business, bad or good.

    • Ao Li
      Ao Li Aylar önce

      Sounds like you can choose not to so...

  • R. Downgrade
    R. Downgrade Aylar önce

    ((Starting off, yes, Andrea Tone did a good thing and this isn't a gripe on *HER* . Okay? Okay.))
    Why were extra laws, by Congress no less, implemented when Ms. Tone here clearly demonstrated that she was enough? If anything, why was the FDA restructuring it's own rules to have without Congress meddle?
    I mean, did I not watch the same video everyone else did? Because she did here job right, Congress made more laws that her doing her job right already covered.
    Does no one else see how willfully and foolishly redundant that is?

  • Lammy Lams
    Lammy Lams Aylar önce

    My issue with this video is I do not feel it paints a big enough picture of the damage thalidomide did in other countries, including mine, Australia.
    Yes, the title includes the phrase "a national crisis", and one can assume that it'll be about the US, based on the narrator's accent alone (if not the US's domination of all media), however, there are still people alive today who have suffered terribly because Australia didn't have a Frances Kelsey, as, obviously no other country did.
    I feel it's slightly insulting to dedicate 6-7 seconds on those people, their families, and the lawyers who have fought for their compensation.
    As well as, ultimately, not giving Frances Kelsey enough credit for avoiding all the heartbreak, disharmony, and legal sagas that other countries have faced.

  • Schiff Granger
    Schiff Granger Aylar önce

    _Thank God FDA backed this. Good job Kelsey!_

  • frawding
    frawding Aylar önce

    Nice video. Simply answer to the Women in STEM question: it's simply because women don't want to.

    • Danielle
      Danielle 19 gün önce

      lol, you'd think so, but then you get women like Marie Curie, who actively fought against the then all male university in her area AND the corrupt government she was raised with in order to join the STEM field

  • migaca
    migaca Aylar önce

    tham medics they live forever (101)

  • Arushi Aishwarya
    Arushi Aishwarya Aylar önce

    I'm so glad the FDA backed her up :)