Professor Susanne Klausen has won a prestigious research bursary from the Wellcome Trust, a biomedical research charity based in London, United Kingdom. The Wellcome Trust was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health.
Klausen’s research project is called , “The Thalidomide Disaster, the British Abortion Act (1967), and the Passage of Eugenic Abortion Laws in the Commonwealth, 1961-1977.” She will spend May and part of June consulting archival sources at the world famous archives collection housed at the Wellcome’s Library and Archives in London. Klausen’s project focuses on the role of the thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s in cultivating public support for eugenic abortion in Commonwealth countries in the 1960s and 1970s. The specific goal of the research is to analyze the uptake of the eugenic clause contained in the Britain Abortion Act (1967) in abortion legislation subsequently enacted in other Commonwealth countries.
“I am absolutely delighted at winning this research grant.” Klausen says. “It will enable me to continue examining the world historical impact of the thalidomide disaster of the early 1960s. I look forward to returning to the Wellcome’s amazing library, a dream destination for any historian of medicine working in the English language.”