Interviews & Profiles

Consciousness, Chemically Altered

In his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan writes of his own consciousness-expanding experiments with psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin, and he makes the case for why shaking up the brain’s old habits could be therapeutic for people facing addiction, depression, or death.

In this segment, Ira talks with Pollan and psychedelics researcher Robin Carhart-Harris about the neuroscience of consciousness, and how psychedelic drugs may alter the algorithms and habits our brains use to make sense of the world.

Can we all benefit from psychedelics?

Undoubtedly one of the finest writers of our time, best selling author Michael Pollan is most widely associated for his writings on the food industrial complex.

It’s an industry that has unconsciously found its way into our stomachs and minds. Behind this quest to get us thinking more about our health, Pollan is a truth seeker. Like any great journalist, he will unravel an entire field, before he puts pen to paper and his approach has earnt him millions of fans across the world.

For his next endeavour, he’s used himself as a guinea pig to better understand the profound area of psychedelics and its effect on the brain. A subject that has revived itself through the orthodoxies of science to much public interest.

Exploring The World Of Psychedelics With Michael Pollan

Tune in, turn on, and… maybe change your mind. Author Michael Pollan revisits psychedelic drugs, a mainstay of the counterculture in the 60’s, long since fallen out of fashion. Turns out Timothy Leary may have been right about the therapeutic potential of these mind-bending drugs. Could magic mushrooms finally help people quit smoking? Could LSD be an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, or addiction?

This Will Change Your Mind About Psychedelic Drugs

“The biggest misconception people have about psychedelics is that these are drugs that make you crazy,” says Michael Pollan, author of the new book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence. “We now have evidence that that does happen sometimes — but in many more cases, these are drugs that can make you sane.”

‘Reluctant Psychonaut’ Michael Pollan Embraces The ‘New Science’ Of Psychedelics

Author Michael Pollan had always been curious about psychoactive plants, but his interest skyrocketed when he heard about a research study in which people with terminal cancer were given a psychedelic called psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — to help them deal with their distress.

Michael Pollan: Can Psychedelics Save the World?

Most people know Michael Pollan as a food writer. His 2006 book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is widely credited with helping spark the modern food movement, in which everyday Americans began asking questions about where their food comes from. But in his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, Pollan shifts his lens away from food and onto the world of hallucinogenic medicines, in which people are tripping – both legally and illegally – on LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics in order to heal mental and emotional afflictions.

The Science of Altering Consciousness

Among scientists, there are tentative signs of a psychedelics renaissance. After decades of stigma, impressive research is showing the power of these substances to help sufferers of depression and addiction, or to comfort patients with a terminal cancer diagnosis, struggling to face their own end. This is the fascinating territory that the journalist Michael Pollan explores with his new book, “How to Change Your Mind.” Pollan dives into brain science, the history of psychedelics (and our tortured attitudes towards them) but his larger subject is the nature of human consciousness.

Michael Pollan Tried a Series of Psychedelic Drugs…For Research!

As an immersive author, Michael Pollan experienced the effects of the best-known psychedelic drugs while researching for his book ‘How to Change Your Mind.’

Michael Pollan on testing psychedelics as a treatment for depression

After decades in the shadows, psychedelic drugs are the focus of new studies testing their efficacy at treating a variety of psychological issues, including depression. Appearing on “CBS This Morning” Monday, Pollan was asked how he started in his research into psychedelics.

Michael Pollan: ‘I was a very reluctant psychonaut’

Michael Pollan first became interested in new research into psychedelic drugs in 2010, when a front-page story in the New York Times declared, “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning in Again”. The story revealed how in a large-scale trial researchers had been giving terminally ill cancer patients large doses of psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – to help them deal with their “existential distress” as they approached death. The initial findings were markedly positive. Pollan, author of award-winning and bestselling books about botany, food politics and the way we eat, was born in 1955, a little too late for the Summer of Love.