Psychedelic Science 2023

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Tempering Psychedelics: A Conversation with Michael Pollan and Bob Jesse


Tempering Psychedelics: A Conversation with Michael Pollan and Bob Jesse

Michael Pollan is a renowned author and investigative journalist whose work explores the intersection of culture, nature, and consciousness. His 2018 book, “How to Change Your Mind,” catalyzed a new wave of interest in the field of psychedelic research. Always nuanced, insightful, and entertaining, Pollan has become the go-to figure for anyone seeking to understand the potential risks and benefits of these substances. Bob Jesse is a guiding force behind the contemporary re-emergence of psychedelics. In the mid-90s, he convened an expert group, the Council on Spiritual Practices, which was instrumental in forming the psilocybin research team at Johns Hopkins. Jesse co-authored that team's influential first study (2006) and has led the drafting of foundational documents: a Code of Ethics for Spiritual Guides (1995), an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court (2005) in a successful religious liberty case, and a Statement on Open Science (2017) signed by numerous leaders in psychedelics. He has served on several boards in the field. Previously, Jesse trained at Hopkins in engineering, consulted for AT&T Bell Labs, and worked at Oracle Corp. as a VP of business development. At Bell Labs and at Oracle, his advocacy initiatives led to marked advances for lesbian and gay employees and their families. Currently, he continues to advise and collaborate with individuals and groups in the psychedelics space.

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