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Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, King's College London

Caitjan Gainty is a historian of twentieth century medicine and technology. She initially trained in public health and worked for several years in health care research before returning to academia to pursue a PhD in the history of medicine, which she received in 2012. The following year, she joined the staff at King’s. Caitjan is particularly interested in the systematisation of medicine and healthcare and the way our notions of its significance and effectiveness have evolved historically.

Her first book project investigates this in the American context by offering a new examination of the distinctively industrial origins of early 20th century American medicine. Subsequent projects demonstrate Caitjan's dedication to applying historical research and methodologies to contemporary problems in health care, partnering in this with medical practitioners, philosophers, and policy-makers to examine the ways in which medicine’s history can usefully impact current and future health care decision-making processes.

To this end, she runs the pilot Healthy Scepticism project (https://www.healthyscepticism.com; tweeting @healthy_scept), which examines the role of medicine's critics and detractors, its dispossessed and antagonists in the constitution of its contemporary form. And with Agnes Arnold-Forster, she has written a series of articles (gathered at https://www.healthyscepticism.com/covid-19) which offer perspective on the pandemic from a historically-inflected viewpoint.

Caitjan’s further research interests lie in the history of medical film-making and aesthetics and the conjoined recent histories of bioethics and the medical humanities. She also has an abiding interest in medical knowledge-making practices and how notions of medical effectiveness are thereby constructed.

Experience

  • –present
    Lecturer in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, King's College London