The Wheeler Centre
View all episodes in this series
High Notes: Michael Pollan on the New Science of Psychedelics
For years, Michael Pollan's books have changed minds.
Pollan’s books, like The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto – and Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, the latter now also a successful Netflix series – have strongly influenced contemporary ideas about agriculture, nature, nutrition and ethics. He's sparked debates on genetically modified organisms, and even on the definition of 'food' … and he's done it with charm, imagination and gusto, bringing serious scientific heft and optimism to all his work.
Pollan’s latest investigation is more explicitly concerned than ever with changing minds. This time, he’s turned his attention to psychedelic drugs; their history and their potential. Pollan wants us to look beyond the myriad misconceptions and clichés to understand the groundbreaking new science around hallucinogens. In How To Change Your Mind, he discovers how they can help us learn more about human consciousness – as well as the benefits they may offer in the treatment of many illnesses.
A reviewer for the New York Times wrote that ‘[Pollan] makes losing your mind sound like the sanest thing a person could do’. Listen in as this icon of science journalism joins Christine Kenneally for a conversation about his most personal work yet.