Saturday, 11 December 2010

Breaking Convention

The Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness lecture series, in association with the UKC Psychedelics Society and with the Beckley Foundation, presents:

Breaking Convention:

A Multidisciplinary Meeting on Psychedelic Consciousness

Saturday & Sunday, 2-3rd April, 2011

Virginia Woolf College, Univeristy of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7UG.

Early bird tickets available in advance. Prices, tickets and details coming soon.

Please also register your support on Facebook and spread the word however you can…

...A conference in four quarters is to be held over the weekend of the 2nd-3rd of April, 2011. Workshops, seminars and presentations from submitted abstracts will run in parallel with the track of invited speakers. We have an open call for papers for the parallel track running currently. To apply, please fill in the form at the bottom of this page:

The films 'DMT: The Spirit Molecule', and 'Dirty Pictures' (a documentary about the Shulgins) will be screened at the conference. There will also be live music from the Ragnagrok Allstars, plus other exceptional psychedelic sonic succour.

The 4 main symposia are:

What do psychedelics mean?

Organised by Dr. David Luke, PhD. Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Greenwich; President of the Parapsychological Association; Director of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness lecture series at the October Gallery, London

Psychedelics are substances with multiple dimensions, and can be considered artistically, clinically, spiritually, psychologically, neuro-scientifically, legally, ecologically, historically, culturally, magically, ontologically, etc. This symposium will fuse together a number of diverse perspectives and help us assemble some of the intellectual jigsaw pieces we have created out of these plants, fungi and molecules.

Dr. Luis Eduardo Luna, PhD.
Mike Jay
Paul Devereux
Charlotte Walsh more TBC

* * *

Current research on consciousness and psychedelics at the University of Kent

Organised by Dr. Cameron Adams, PhD., research fellow and lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent; and Dr. Anna Waldstein, PhD, lecturer in Medical Anthropology and Ethnobotany and convenor of the BSc in Medical Anthropology at the University of Kent.

In recent years the University of Kent has emerged as a centre for the study of psychedelic consciousness in the UK. This symposium presents a selection of relevant work by academics (and alumni) from across the University, including contributions from anthropology, conservation, sociology, criminology, mysticism and Hispanic studies. The breadth of research on psychedelic consciousness at the University of Kent spans from self-medication with psychedelics as a form of empowerment, the cultural identities of people who use psychedelics and other illicit substances, and the ability of consumers to influence drug policy, to the use of active imagination to access paranormal worlds, and the representation of altered states of consciousness in literature.

Dr. Cameron Adams, PhD.
Dr. Caroline Chatwin, PhD.
Dr. Axel Klein, PhD.
Dr. Anna Waldstein, PhD. more TBC

* * *

Ecstasy – Its place in medicine, society and politics: A Multidisciplinary Debate of the relative Benefits and Risks of MDMA.

Organised by Dr. Ben Sessa, MD. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Somerset, UK.

During the so-called ‘Second Summer of Love’ in 1988 the media told us there would be ‘An Ecstasy Epidemic’ with the potential for serious harm or even death of young people on a large scale. This epidemic of mortality and morbidity did not happen and MDMA has remained a popular recreational drug in the UK for over twenty years. During this time it has been labelled variously as a potential neurotoxin on the one hand and ‘safer than horse riding’ on the other. Despite twenty years of extensive study there remains considerable lack of clarity about its actual degree of harm. In the last five years MDMA has become increasingly researched as an adjunct for psychotherapy; with several placebo-controlled trials completed or under-way throughout the world. Some therapists claim it is an essential tool for trauma-focused psychotherapy – yielding response rates for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder far in excess of traditional drug treatments. But despite these advances MDMA continues to experience an extremely polarised opinion from the general public. This symposium will bring together experts in the field to debate MDMA: Is it friend or foe?

Dr. Rick Doblin, PhD (Chair)
Dr. Ben Sessa, MD.
Dr. Jon Cole, PhD.
Professor Val Curran, MD.
Dr. Andy Parrott, PhD. more TBC

* * *

Bold Visions: The Future of Psychedelic Research.

Organised by the UKC Psychedelics Society.

The psychedelic community is witnessing a research renaissance with rich results, legitimate protocols and government approvals. The success of MAPS is booming, the science is ever more supporting, groups such as the UKC Psychedelics Society are sprouting, and university courses on psychedelics are manifesting. This symposium will see data from current research and questions about where the future of psychedelics lies. What are the far reaches of research? What political problems present themselves? What limitations and lessons have we learnt from the past?

Dr. Rick Doblin, PhD.
Amanda Feilding
Dr. Andy Letcher, PhD.
Andy Roberts more TBC

* * *

With thanks to MAPS for their affiliation with this project and Blue Firth for the artwork.