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Podcast episodeCover image for of High Notes: Michael Pollan on the New Science of Psychedelics

The Wheeler Centre

High Notes: Michael Pollan on the New Science of Psychedelics  /  Drugs

For years, Michael Pollan's books have changed minds.

Pollan’s books, like The Botany of DesireThe 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.

Michael Pollan and Christine Kenneally at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Scott Limbrick

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.

 
Podcast episodeCover image for of Sara Ahmed: On Complaint

The Wheeler Centre

Sara Ahmed: On Complaint  /  History, politics & current affairs

What does it mean, and what does it cost, to make a complaint? This question is at the heart of Sara Ahmed’s research into institutional power, and it forms the basis of this energetic, wide-ranging lecture.

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What does it mean, and what does it cost, to make a complaint? This question is at the heart of Sara Ahmed’s research into institutional power, and it forms the basis of this energetic, wide-ranging lecture.

In 2016 the acclaimed British-Australian academic resigned from her prestigious post as Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her resignation was in protest against the university’s failure to address the problem of sexual harassment.

Ahmed – whose work embraces feminist, queer and race studies – has since embarked on a new research project, outside institutional academia, that was sparked by the bruising experience of trying to improve the university’s complaints process. Her new study, drawing on oral and written testimony from dozens of complainants, has much to teach us about the structures and mechanisms of institutional power. It’s a timely topic during this moment of reinvigorated feminism and reports of systemic harassment on Australian university campuses.

Here is a collation of my live-tweets from @SaraNAhmed's phenomenal lecture yesterday at the @wheelercentre on complaint: https://t.co/TQokCS1Il0

— Sonia Nair (@son_nair) October 24, 2018

Anything and everything in Philosophy from across our archives.

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