PSYMPOSIUM Amherst "The Nature of Psychedelics"


      AMHERST, Mass. – March 23, 2014 – Recent years have given rise to a psychedelic renaissance, a renewed intellectual interest in psychedelics, psychoactive plants, fungi, and mdma (aka, ecstasy). PSYMPOSIUM "The Nature of Psychedelics" brings together 10 researchers and experts to speak on issues relating to the role of these often misunderstood substances in culture, medicine and science. The conference will be held in the Mahar Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on April 12 & 13 and is open to the public and the Five College community.

       Keynote speaker Dennis McKenna, Ph.D. will present on “Plant & Human Symbiosis and the Origins of the Imagination”. Best known as the brother of contemporary philosopher and psychedelic enthusiast Terence McKenna, Dennis McKenna has more than 40 years experience studying and authoring works on hallucinogenic and medicinal plants of the Amazon. Vice Magazine journalist Hamilton Morris will be discussing the history of pharmaceutical and designer drugs along with the legal, technological, and scientific developments that have driven their evolution. Composer, ethnomusicologist and recent TED presenter Alexandre Tannous will explore the therapeutic potential of sound and conduct a “Sound Meditation” for the audience.

      Join the Joe Rogan Experience podcast for a discussion with Dennis McKenna and Joshua Wickerham on Friday, March 28th at 11:00am PST about PSYMPOSIUM 2014 and the goals of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council in assuring the sustainability of sacred medicines for the future.


 “We’re in the midst of a Psychedelic Renaissance, and renewed interest in psychedelics underscores the need for wider discussion in academia and beyond.”


Other notable speakers include:

●      Clint Canal, Ph.D., Researcher and Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, on the neuroscience of psychedelics.

●      Joshua Wickerham, of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, on the sustainable harvesting and safe use of traditional medicinal plants, and collaborative projects within the communities that use them.

●      Lily Kay Ross, Harvard University graduate student from the Divinity School, on the ethical standards and issues surrounding the administration of ayahuasca.

●     Ryan LeCompte and Tony Macie of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET)

●     Jag Davies, of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), former MAPS communications director and ACLU drug policy coordinator

●      Lawrence Millman Ph.D., mycologist, author and explorer who has made over 40 expeditions to the Arctic and Subarctic, on the Ritual use of the Amanita muscaria mushroom in Siberia.


"The Psymposium explores the impact of psychedelics on science and culture"


Saturday, April 12 - Opening Reception

6:00 p.m. – Doors open

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

    Opening remarks by Lex Pelger; Introduction by Jag Davies of Drug Policy Alliance; Ryan LeCompte and Anthony Macy of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET);

Screening of documentary film Neurons to Nirvana; concluding Q&A panel led by Dennis McKenna, Jag Davies and others.


Sunday, April 13 - Presentations

9:00 a.m. – Doors open

10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

      Introduction by Lex Pelger. Clint Canal, Ph.D.: “Psychedelic Neuroscience”. Lily Kay Ross: “Sex, Drugs and Power”. Alexandre Tannous: “Psychedelic Sound and Healing”. Lawrence Millman: “Ritual Use of Amanita muscaria in Siberia”. Hamilton Morris: “From MXE to PCP: A History of Arylcyclohexylamines”. Sound Meditation by Alexandre Tannous. Joshua Wickerham: “The Sustainability and Safe Use of Traditional Plants”. Dennis Mckenna: “Plant and Human Symbiosis and the Origins of the Imagination”. Concluding panel discussion.



Psymposia, LLC is an events production company for the free exchange of thoughts, ideas, and scientific research of medicinal and psychoactive plants and fungi, psychedelics, ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, herbal medicine, harm reduction, sustainable practices, sound, music and meditation.

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