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Online Event

Tribute to Terence McKenna w/ Dennis McKenna & Erik Davis

Streamed via Crowdcast April 3, 2020

This is a replay of our Crowdcast streamed April 3, 2020.


Terence McKenna passed away on April 3, 2000. Twenty years later, we honored him around the world in this online event.  On April 3, 2020, we premiered a never-released video of Terence lecturing at Esalen Institute in 1989.

After the video, we streamed this virtual fireside chat with Dennis McKenna and Erik Davis.


Terence McKenna was a cultural commentator, speaker, author, raconteur, and curious mind who became an iconic figure for the psychedelic community throughout the 80s and 90s. His provocative ideas about the role of psychedelic mushrooms in human evolution, and his notions about the nature of time, which became known as Novelty Theory, attracted wide attention. His talks and lectures, many still accessible online, led some to characterize him as the ‘Bard’ of psychedelia, and the ideas he articulated are still very much part of the contemporary conversation.

Dennis McKenna is an ethnopharmacologist and the younger brother of Terence McKenna. His research has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. He has conducted ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brasilian Amazon. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia,1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. Dennis is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. In 2017, he organized and presented a landmark symposium, the Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: 50 years of Research (ESPD50), commemorating the 50th anniversary of the original conference held in San Francisco in 1967. In the spring of 2019, he founded the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy.

Erik Davis is an author, award-winning journalist, podcaster, and scholar based in San Francisco. His wide-ranging work focuses on the intersection of alternative religion, media, and the popular imagination. He is the author, most recently, of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies. He also wrote Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (2006), a critical volume on Led Zeppelin (2005), and the celebrated cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998). For a decade, he explored the “cultures of consciousness” on his weekly podcast Expanding Mind, which is currently on hiatus. Erik graduated from Yale University in 1988, and more recently earned his PhD in religious studies at Rice University.


Presented by Psychedelic Seminars, with the McKenna Academy and San Francisco Psychedelic Society.

This was the opening night for a broader Tribute to Terence series hosted by the McKenna Academy and San Francisco Psychedelic Society.

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