Beyond Michael Pollan: Where to learn more about psychedelics.
A guide for the curious to the best books, writers, filmmakers and talkers about psychedelics
It’s hard to exaggerate the impact that Michael Pollan has had on psychedelics. His book and Netflix TV series, both called How to Change Your Mind, have reached millions of readers and viewers, bringing attention and legitimacy to research into psychedelic medicines. While scientists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs and activists are all driving what’s often called the psychedelic renaissance, Pollan looms large as its most important journalist. But he’s far from alone.
My own interest in psychedelics was sparked after I read and loved How to Change Your Mind. I went on to write a long story in 2019 for the Chronicle of Philanthropy about the importance of philanthropy in funding research into psychedelics. Since then, while reporting on psychedelics here at Medium and elsewhere, I’ve dug deeply into the rich literature of psychedelics in an effort to learn as much as I could. I’m still reading, listening and watching. Here are my go-to sources:
General coverage: I’ve become a contributor to Lucid News, which in my (biased) view is the best place to find feature stories, profiles and informed opinion about psychedelics. Reporters and editors for Lucid strive to be fair and accurate, fact-based, reliable and generally free of hype. The founders describe themselves “longtime participants in the psychedelic community,” which I take to be a euphemistic way of saying they have partaken of these drugs as well as studied their impact. There’s no substitute for personal experience.
Newsletters: While newsletters about psychedelics are everywhere, the quality varies widely; the best of them deliver insight along with the latest headlines. The Microdose, which arrives twice a week, is published by the the newly established U.C. Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics — Pollan’s influence, again — and it typically includes a roundup of the week’s news on Fridays and a brief q-and-a on Mondays. Psychedelic Alpha, written by the excellent Josh Hardman, has a business focus, while Zach Haigney’s Trip Report explores the connections between psychedelics and technology, among other things. Lawyers…