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Toine Pieters

Toine Pieters

Golestan fellow

Project title

The Magic Bullet Legacy and Torpedo Fallacy in Medicine

Research question

How have ‘magic bullet’ imaginaries shaped drug research & development and therapeutic perspectives throughout the long twentieth century?

Project description

Toine Pieters will research how in the twentieth century people have imagined a better future, attainable through science and technology. He looks into how so called ‘magic bullet’-imaginaries have shaped drug research, drug development and therapeutic perspectives.The means by which healthy futures are projected, pursued or neglected–be it through policy or research focus–affect the way technologies are developed and utilized.

In previous studies Pieterse has shown how miracle drug imaginaries have played an important role as drivers or barriers of drug research, development and use. In this project he will examine how magic bullet visions of scientific and technological progress in Western medicine carry with them implicit ideas about conceptions of disease and its treatment, individual and collective healthy futures, and the good life.

This project will sit at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS), medical and digital humanities looking to three therapeutic domains in medicine: oncology, infectious diseases and mental illness.

Selected publications

  • Pieters T. The Imperative of Regulation: The Co-Creation of a Medical and Non-Medical US Opioid Crisis. Psychoactives. 2023; 2(4):317-336. https://doi.org/10.3390/psychoactives2040020
  • Faber W.R., Sewpersad K., Menke H., Avanzi C., Geluk A., Verhard, E.M. Tio Coma, M., Chan, M. Pieters, T. Origin and spread of leprosy in Suriname. A historical and biomedical study. Frontiers in Tropical Diseases (Sec. Neglected Tropical Diseases) 2023, 4. doi: 10.3389/fitd.20231258006
  • Nazar, S. Pieters, T. (2021) Plandemic revisited : A product of planned disinformation amplifying the Covid-19 ïnfodemic. Frontiers in Public Health, 9:649930. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.649930.