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Ms. Frances Kelsey → 

Posted on 24 November 2014

From the obituary of Canadian doctor Frances Kelsey:

“Young ‘Frankie’ left B.C. to get her undergraduate and masters degrees in science at McGill University in Montreal. When an opening appeared as a research assistant at the University of Chicago, her McGill professor urged her to apply. She was accepted after the U.S. professor mistook Frances for a man and addressed her in a letter as ‘Mr.’

“‘To this day,” Dr. Kelsey later said, ‘I do not know if my name had been Elizabeth or Mary Jane, whether I would have gotten that first big step up.'”

Dr. Kelsey went on to be a medical officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is credited with preventing thousands of babies from being born with missing limbs and deformities thanks to her refusal to approve the drug thalidomide for use. If her name had been “Susan” or “Nancy” (or “Aanu” or “Patel”) that might not have happened.

No, I can’t see why we should care about the possibility of discrimination in different fields at all.

h/t Quirks & Quarks

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