How One Scientist Averted a National Health Crisis

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Between 1957 and 1962, thousands of infants born in Canada, Great Britain, and Germany had serious deformities due to thalidomide, a drug marketed to pregnant women as a mild sleeping aid and to relieve pregnancy nausea. However, the drug never earned approval for use in the United States due to the diligence of one scientist. Learn how looking at science ahead of profits saved the lives of many.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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  • Relies on a general understanding of the role of the FDA in the US
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Highlights a female scientist
  • Connects science, social science, history, geography, and social injustice concepts
  • Links to excellent resources for extending the lesson
  • None