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Professor Patricia Kingori and colleagues are guest editors for a special issue of the journal Science & Technology Studies focusing on some of the practical and ethical concerns generated when the concept of ‘misdirection’ is applied to global health. The term is taken from magic and in this special issue is used to reveal how attention can be directed and diverted away from asking difficult ethical, social and practical questions of the operations of global health.

The articles included in the special edition highlight three distinct aspects of the ways that the ‘misdirection’ can be used to understand what counts as global health knowledge and practice: interpersonal, narrative, and structural.

Arsenii Alenichev, Ethox member and GLIDE Research Fellow, has contributed an article discussing semiotic misdirection in Covid-19 etiquette guides. There is also an excellent paper by former Ethox member Phoebe Friesen and another by former Caroline Miles Fellow Rachel Douglas-Jones.

The editors hope that this special issue will pave the way for future scholars to use the concept of misdirection in their own work to examine the technologies, infrastructures, devices and assemblages that make up the field of global health.

Peeters Grietens, K., Kingori, P., Friesen, P., Gerrets, R., Douglas-Jones, R. and Kuhn, G. (2022) “Misdirection in Global Health: Creating the Illusion of (Im)possible Alternatives in Global Health Research and Practice”, Science & Technology Studies, 35(2), pp. 2–12. doi: 10.23987/sts.115410

This issue is dedicated to Dan Allman who passed away on the 27 January 2022. Dan had a paper in the special issue that he did not get a chance to complete; the editors have included a Tribute to his work that summarises his ideas.

Photo by Marco Schroeder on Pixaby