5 speakers 15 minutes each
Tue 4th Jun 2019
Michael Pollan interviewed by John Crace
A materialist, a sceptic, a storyteller, Michael Pollan is the bestselling author of some of our greatest thinking on human nature and nutrition. In mid-life, he here turns his attention to one of the most intriguing stories of the 20th century; the scientific promise and cultural burial of psychedelic research and its renaissance today in the public conversation around mental health, palliative care, addictive behaviours and a loss of personal meaning and connection in modern societies. About How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forwardas a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinatedby the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness. He's interviewed by John Crace the Guardian's parliamentary sketch writer and author of the ‘Digested Read’ columns. He is the author of I Never Promised you a Rose Garden: A short guide to modern politics, the coalition and the general election and also Baby Alarm: A Neurotic’s Guide to Fatherhood, Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success, Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp, Brideshead Abbreviated: The Digested Read of the Twentieth Century and The Digested Twenty-first Century.