Towards the chemically transformable mind
LSD paved the way for a productive alliance between the neurosciences, pharmacology, psychiatry and clinical epidemiology. The suggestion of a relationship between chemical and clinical psychosis opened up a new scientific, medical and public horizon of brain chemistry and statistics in mental health care. The gradual acceptance of the ‘chemistry of the brain’ neurotransmitter paradigm paved the way for a productive alliance between psychopathology and clinical epidemiology. Over time this would turn the so-called ‘neurotransmitter revolution in medicine’ into an addictive form of neurological mythology—the chemically transformable mind. Mental discovery was superimposed on mental recovery by chemical means.
Toine Pieters is head of the Freudenthal Institute and professor in the history of pharmacy at Utrecht University. He has published extensively on the history of pharmacy and allied sciences, digital humanities, pharmacology and addiction research. He is project leader and research coordinator of multiple projects in the fields of digital humanities and history of drugs and addiction.