Quantum Life Podcast - Brad Burge.
In April 2013 I attended the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland, California. The conference is organised by MAPS the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, and this year attracted over 100 of the world's leading researchers as presenters, and roughly 2000 people gathered to hear what they had to offer. One of the attractions to many, and the reason for friends and colleagues of my own attending the conference, was this year's "Ayahausca Track", and many were gathered to hear, present and share ideas around the massive growth in interest in, and attendant scientific study of, this Amazonian medicine.
Having heard a Radio National piece, Mind at Large in the month or so prior to my journey, I thought it may be interesting to hear some counterpoint to the notions expressed in that piece, and continue my ownwork with that institution. To that end I interviewed a number of presenters and participants in the conference with the intention of offering a feature to RN. The content was, to my mind, very engaging and as the RN feature has yet to eventuate, I felt it important to share some of those voices. All of them offer a considerably more nuanced and considered view than those tropes one generally encounters in mainstream explanations of Psychedelic medicines.
One such voice is that of MAPS' own Director of Communications and Marketing, Brad Burge. Brad's bio at the MAPS website states;
Brad earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. His graduate work focused on the political, scientific, and cultural changes required to make illicit drugs into legitimate medicines. In 2009, he presented his work on the history of the distinction between the recreational and medical use of drugs at the Critical Legal Studies conference at the University of Leicester in the UK. He has also interned for the Drug Policy Alliance and has a longstanding interest in drug policy reform and activism. In addition to his work with MAPS, Brad is a freelance writer and editor of projects pertaining to psychopharmacology, drug policy, and psychedelic therapy. He is a firm believer in the importance of communication for sharing knowledge and building community, and is committed to helping people develop honest and responsible relationships with themselves, each other, and their pharmacological tools.
I spoke with him at the outset of the conference.
Further information about the work of MAPS can be found at their website here.
Details of the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference can be found here and videos of many of the speaker's presentations can be found here.