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Today’s Strong Female is Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, Ph.D., M.D. (b. 24 July 1914 – ). [1]


Seen here being a fantastic doctor for the FDA. (I’m afraid I have no idea how to draw 1960’s clothes in a way that makes them look good.)

Why is she strong?

She prevented the morning sickness drug thalidomide from coming over to the United States, despite industry pressure.  At the time, the FDA had only a few scientists and doctors working on testing drugs.  She did what any good doctor or good scientist should do:  in the case where you see that a given company or entity is not being entirely honest with you about its product, you prevent that product from being sold, approved, or distributed.  You ask questions, like, say, “There is this neurological defect associated with this drug.  What is wrong with you that you want to sell it here?” [2] Once word got out that there were massive cases of neurological defects associated with the drug, as the study showed, she was proved right.  She was proven so correct that the FDA set up a system by which rigorous drug regulation standards were adopted and enforced.  Each and every drug which goes to market in the United States must pass these tests.  For her efforts, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from President John F. Kennedy.

Keep it civil people.

There are 20 Strong Females here now.  20!  Can you believe it?  Got one for me? Leave a comment.


[1] The alert student will notice that there are two links here today.  One is my regular Wikipedia link.  The other comes from the Facebook page of A Mighty Girl, a fine resource for looking up strong female characters in fiction, history, science, acting, military, and other areas.  Go give them some love.

[2] Please do not be flippant when calling out a person on their stuff.  I can get away with it here, being a casual blog.  It is more effective to use cited sources to back up your statements in such an argument.