Please join us for our upcoming GHSM Seminar Series event. Professor Nancy Campbell (Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) will present her latest work on the history of psychopharmacological research.
“Approaching the Ineffable: Instruments and tools used in psychopharmacological research, 1950-1970”
Wednesday 8th March from 13:00-14:30 in Room K0.19, King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London.
Abstract: Within the “epistemic niche” of the US federal research establishment during the 1950s, mental health researchers developed a great variety of instruments, tools, and techniques to chart and elucidate connections between brain and behavior. This paper discusses methods of inquiry used to approach the “ineffable”—experiences that neither subjects nor scientists found themselves able to fully express in words or quantifiable schemes. “Tools” such as LSD and other compounds classified as hallucinogens were used to probe these dynamics, as well as the role of neurotransmission in mental illness. (The presentation is co-authored with Laura Stark, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University, Center for Medicine, Health, and Society (Nashville, USA)).
Nancy D. Campbell is Professor of Science and Technology Studies in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She is a historian of science who focuses on addiction research in Discovering Addiction: The Science and Politics of Substance Abuse Research (University of Michigan Press, 2007); gender and drug policy in Using Women: Gender, Drug Policy, and Social Justice (Routledge, 2000) and with Elizabeth Ettorre, Gendering Addiction: The Politics of Drug Treatment in a Neurochemical World(Palgrave, 2011); and the history of treatment with co-authors JP Olsen and Luke Walden, The Narcotic Farm: The Rise and Fall of America’s First Prison for Drug Addicts (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2008).
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