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Notes from "Cultural and Political Perspectives on Psychedelic Science"

Greetings Psychonauts and Friends,

My name is Elizabeth, and I am the social media manager for Psychedelic Seminars. I’d like to start by thanking our Patrons for your support. Your financial contributions allowed me to attend my first psychedelic conference last weekend: Chacruna’s “Cultural and Political Perspectives on Psychedelic Science” organized by Bia Labate, PhD.

I could not have imagined a more positive introduction to the psychedelic community, filled with inclusive, collaborative, and inquisitive intellectuals. The conference addressed issues ranging from cultural appropriation, to the threat of capitalistic influence, to the shortcomings of current psychedelic research practices with regards to marginalized communities (among many other things). In some ways, the conference functioned as a meta-systemic critique on the psychedelic community. It was tense at times, but internal tension often precipitates external resolution. We did a lot of work this weekend so that we could share this internal tension with you.

The repressed academic in me thrived in this environment. I live-tweeted the event using the hashtag #PoliPsy18, and I took over 20 pages of extensive notes. I hope that these notes will be useful not only for the speakers and attendees of the conference, but also the general public.

In the spirit of keeping information open-source within the public domain (one of the major themes from this weekend), we are making these notes available at no cost. If you appreciate and value the coverage that we provided, we humbly ask that you consider becoming a Patron to ensure that we can deliver more extensive coverage in the future. I want to quit my unfulfilling job and devote myself to this full-time. In addition to notes and live tweets, we would like to provide livestreams, interviews, and behind-the-scenes content, of conferences around the world that your contributions allow us to attend. Your donations will help us cover the costs of producing our own events, providing coverage of others and the associated costs, and reasonable living wages for our team. If you want to see more of this coverage in the future on a regular basis, please consider becoming a Patron.

Notes/Disclaimer: If you were a speaker and you feel that I misquoted or misrepresented you, please reach out to me at I did not take notes on Kevon Adrian Simpson’s panel because it felt disrespectful and distracting given the deeply personal story he shared. We have pictures of some of the presentations that will supplement (and in some case, replace) these notes.

Check out our notes here.

See photos here.


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