The video recording of the 2022 Skuy Lecture will be posted here when it is available.

Dittrick Medical History Center, 2022 Annual Percy Skuy Lecture

The Case Against the Pill?: Science Journalism and the Controversy Over Birth Control Side Effects, 1965-1975
Presented by Kelly S. O’Donnell, PhD
Thursday, March 31st, 2022
12-1 pm, in the Powell Room of the Allen Memorial Library, Case Western Reserve University.

Kelly O’Donnell is a historian of medicine, gender, and health politics in modern America. She is a Lecturer in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale University, where she also received her PhD. Her first book, The Pill Hearings: Science, Politics, and Birth Control, is under contract with Rutgers University Press.

Kelly O'Donnell headshot

Kelly O’Donnell

Approved by the FDA in 1960, the new birth control pill was instantly popular with women across the country. By the mid-1960s, however, with millions of prescriptions filled, rumors of side effects ranging from headaches to blood clots grew into serious reporting in the mass media. By the end of the decade, many were calling for the government to investigate and ensure the safety of oral contraceptives. This talk examines the role of investigative journalism–particularly the career of science writer Barbara Seaman–in broader debates over the safety and suitability of “the Pill” during the 1960s and 1970s.

For details on parking and current masking policies see our Plan your Visit web page.

This event will also be available in a Live streaming format. Please register using the link below however you plan on attending.

Please register for this event (click here).